Thursday, July 22, 2010

EKOS and the polling of the strange

The most recent EKOS poll is now out, and while they existed before, I'm starting to have major doubts about it being a major indicator of any trends or a reflect of popular vote in any sense of the word.

I'm not a statistician, nor am I an analyst, but if you look at EKOS' numbers, even past the topline, you'll see some extremely odd figures. For example, from the handy data tables we can see:

2-Week Roundup topline numbers:

Conservatives - 32.2;
Liberals - 26.4;
NDP - 16.4;
Greens - 11.6;
Bloc - 10.1 (39.5 in Quebec);
Other - 3.0

Not hilariously strange, but as usual EKOS has the Green Party up at the expense of every single other party except it seems the Bloc and to an extent, the NDP. How does Frank Graves square this peg, given that other pollsters show much different results?

It gets even stranger:

Week 2 Results in Ontario:

Conservative - 36.8;
Liberal - 29.9;
NDP - 19.2;
Green - 10.6;
Other - 3.5;

Not hilariously strange, despite the fact that most pollsters show a much closer race between the two main parties. But let's look at Week 1:

Week 1 Results in Ontario

Liberal - 34.4;
Conservative - 33.3;
Green - 15.0;
NDP - 14.4;
Other - 2.8;

Really? There was that much movement in only a few days in Ontario? I could see possibly with the Liberals and the entire eco-fee stink coming off from the provincials, but the Greens were leading the NDP in week one - and then it turned into a nearly-9 point gap in a couple of days.

Same goes for the Week 1 results in the Atlantic provinces:

Week 1 Results in Atlantic Canada:

Liberal - 40.6;
Conservative - 26.6;
Green - 15.6;
NDP - 14.1;
Other - 3.1;

The NDP, who regularly get above 20% of the vote in the Atlantic provinces, are somehow now flailing in one of their core areas, a full percentage point and a bit behind the neophyte Green Party, who are not particularly popular in the area (they got maybe 2% in Newfoundland last time around).

I'm sorry Mr. Graves, but there is something wrong with your numbers. They defy all logic, trends, and reasoning. I'd say this even if the Liberals were flying at 60% of the vote (though you know something is really wrong then).

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