Monday, November 25, 2013

Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affair, On Recent Forum Polls

The occasion is this story in the Winnipeg Free Press:

Forum released its latest round of polling late Sunday night following calls into the riding during the day. The survey has a relatively small sample size but suggests Liberal Rolf Dinsdale enjoys 59 per cent support, a commanding lead over Conservative Larry Maguire’s 30 per cent.

But, several Brandon-Souris residents report being polled multiple times throughout the campaign as Forum conducted several waves of polling using random, automated robocalls, where voters indicate their candidate preference using their touch-tone phone.

Brandon resident Anne Ross has received six calls from Forum since the campaign began, raising questions about the poll’s reach and its randomness. Ross was called for each of the five polls released so far, including the latest one. She also received a call on Saturday as part of a poll that has not been released.

"I don’t know why I would keep getting called," said Ross, a Liberal.

Ross is the mother of Free Press opinion columnist Deveryn Ross, who said he has been called by Forum Research six times during the campaign, including three times since Friday night.

Two other voters who spoke to the Free Press Sunday, including one Conservative, said they also received multiple calls from Forum Research.

There are 62,000 registered voters in the riding.

Forum president Lorne Bozinoff calls interactive voice-response polls "amazingly accurate." He said while it’s unusual someone might get called six times in a random poll, he doesn’t believe that undermines the poll’s results.

This inspired a series of skeptical tweets from Bricker:
And especially:

I think what he's getting at is easy enough to follow, but here's a definition of "empaneling". I assume he's wondering if they are not recalling the same list and tracking how voting intentions change during the run-up to the by-election.  Not that doing it this way would make the polls wrong, but presumably you would evaluate them differently from a random truly sample.

If that's what Forum is doing.  Nobody knows what they're doing.  Just that this kind of thing shouldn't happen.


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

We have included your post in our 'Around the Blogs' section at

Gayle said...

I accept what he is saying, but the fact that Harper is participating in this election tells me the CPC are in trouble.