FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Provincial Election is creeping up for voters. While polls are not accurate when it comes to predicting a winner, two polls recently released in the Peace River North riding show two completely different results and a experienced pollster is reminding voters to be cautious.
Independent Bob Fedderly and his campaign released from a poll they conducted on April 28. Campaign Manager Jared Giesbrecht said that the poll was conducted by Solus One (http://www.solusone.com).
“I also consulted with two professional polling firms in Vancouver regarding the methodology and sample size to ensure our numbers were quite accurate.”
- Bob Fedderly – 54.22%
- Liberal – 29.33%
- Other – 16.44%
According to data released by the Fedderly campaign, there were a total of 6,207 dial attempts but only 225 respondents actually participated in the poll. The breakdown was:
- 122 pressed the button for Bob Fedderly
- 66 pressed the button for the Liberals
- 37 selected the button for ‘other’ candidate
Mario Canseco with Insights West, says the there are many issues when it comes to polls such as the ones being released in the Peace River North riding.
“There are a bunch of factors in play when it comes to riding level polling. Selection, did you speak with the right amount of people? If you call 100 people and 98 of them are women, then that is not a representation of the population. You’ve got to have something that resembles the riding.”
The biggest one in play with many polls, not just riding polls according to Canseco is size.
“In a riding level poll, it is usually around 400, 500 people. You don’t need to do more. There may be people that are interested in doing say, 1,000 but I think the main problem right now with riding level polling is the fact there is a lot of people, especially in northern areas but also the Province, who are abandoning their landlines. That is where most of the people that conduct their polls try to phone.”
He also pointed out that both polls released here, didn’t have enough respondents in order for the poll to have some reliability.
“I would not do a poll with less than 300 mostly because of the margin of error. When you are getting a lower number than 300, your margin or error is going to be extremely high. We’re talking a seven or eight point difference and when that happens you can say a candidate that might be at 50% for instance, is actually ahead.”
While one poll showed a large lead for Fedderly, another poll conducted by a citizen showed otherwise.
Dan Leonhart explained to Energeticcity.ca that his curiosity was more so the reason for posting a poll on Facebook.
“As far as why I decided to do one myself, I mean, there’s really not much to it. Like I mentioned before, I’m just an undecided, un-affiliated private citizen that was just curious to see what the outcomes might be. I didn’t do it for any of the party’s or candidate’s benefit, only to satiate my own curiosity and, I’m sure, others as well.”
In a disclaimer on his Facebook page, he explained that the poll was not a guarantee or expressive of any party.
“DISCLAIMER: This poll in no way guarantees to express the exact opinions of Peace River North residents, nor does it adjust for any discrepancies or take into account margins of error. It is meant for general overall informational purposes only.”
His results were quite opposite compared to the other poll previously mentioned.
The poll ran for roughly two days from April 30 until May 2. A total of 262 people visited the poll with 65% of them and 171 people responded to it. The results showed Liberal Candidate Dan Davies with a very large lead.
“For those worried about skewed or biased results, the vast majority of respondents were NOT on my friends list. This poll and I are in no way affiliated with any party or candidate, nor did I participate in the poll myself.”
Canseco says that voting is something that should not be taken for granted and encourages voters to vote for who they think will represent them, despite what you may see from polls.
“There is nothing that is going to be a good substitute for your vote. If you see that a party is ahead by 40 points, it is not necessarily an indication that you should stay home and that victory is guaranteed because you are voting for that party or defeat is guaranteed as well and you’d rather watch hockey. There is people who made a lot of scarifies so that we could have the right to vote and I think that should be honoured.”
Election Day is on May 9.