Wednesday, November 01, 2006

New Poll, same bloody mistakes!

Well, I'm sure Dinning will be happy with the new poll results, however, the devil is in the details - and I am getting sick of these polls stopping their analysis just when things get interesting. I understand its an economic decision - but it sure makes for an unreliable and border-line negligent product. Let me explain.

First off the hard numbers among those who identify themselves as PC supporters. I am still in wondering awe at why these polling firms continue to ask Albertans generally who they support, and also stone-walled as to why they won't limit the results to just those persons who actually plan to vote in the election - but I'll get to that later.

Here are the self-identified PC supporter numbers

Undecided - 35%
Dinning - 23%
Oberg - 18%
Morton - 6%
Stelmach - 4%
Hancock - 4%
Norris - 3%

*Note: over 70% of those polled as self-identified Tories do not plan to vote - which basically makes this poll slightly better than worthless

Now problems with the poll are as follows:

First, as mentioned, this only represents self-identified Tories. It doesnt represent those who plan to vote. The same poll found that over 70% of these self-identified Tories don't even plan to vote --- how much you wanna bet that most of those that dont plan to vote, yet still had an opinion for the polsters on who they wanted to win would pick the name they recognized most in the papers - aka. Jim Dinning and Lyle Oberg (the media's favourite dualing duo)

Secondly, and affirming the above point, is the little paragraph in the poll that states that Morton, Oberg, and Stelmach are in a statistical dead heat for second amongst those who plan to vote, still behind Dinning - although it didnt say by how much. Now the polster says that the sample size was too small to be credible on this (meaning they are too lazy and want to save money so we didn't get a large enough sample size to find out the most important question of who those who intend to vote will vote for for). Needless to say, the question must be posed as to how does Morton (6%) and Stelmach (4%) get up to the level of Oberg (18%) when the "plan to vote people" are asked. Good question - no answer as Leger failed to do its job properly.

Third, and this is a wild card, but I have to wonder about the Alberta Alliance factor here. There are a ton of these guys who voted last election. They are very political and not happy with the status quo - but also very Conservative. This of course begs the question - did these guys say they were PC supporters? Probably not. And who do they plan to vote for?...not Jim Dinning I can guarantee you that - and very likely Ted Morton given the party's unofficial endorsement of him. Now someone is gonna say, yea, but what about self identified Liberal and NDP voters - doesn't the same thing apply and therefore the more hughed Dinning will make up for it on these voters. Maybe it does but I doubt it. Liberals and NDP'ers will not likely be as enthusiastic to get involved in this thing when compared with a group of former Tory supporters that bled off to the right leaning Alliance. Again, I don't know - and the reason I dont know is because Leger's poll failed to see this as important enough to figure out by simply asking those who plan to vote in the leadership, who they support.

Why did they fail to do this, simple...they could get an official poll out to their clients without having to call 4x the amount of persons to figure all this stuff out...period

I still think there are going to be some real surprises on election day...not saying the guy in the lead won't win...but I sure think it will be very close in the end, and will likely make these polsters look even more useless than they appear to be at this point.