Sunday, May 19, 2013

Blog Direction Update: Polling, Away! Far, far away.

Well, I’ve finally had a few days to think about what happened last Tuesday. The election in British Columbia represented a huge blow, once more, against the Canadian polling industry. It didn’t matter which company it was – Ipsos, Forum, Angus Reid, EKOS, all of them – they failed to give us an accurate picture of the electorate. Just like in Alberta, and even to an extent just like in Quebec.

Why this happened is one that all of these companies are going to spend the next few months figuring out. You think they would have following the Alberta debacle, but I guess they needed a second kick in the pants to get the message that their current methodologies are not up to the job.

I’m not going to delve into the “why” right now, however. My question is more along the lines of “how” – as in, how can I trust in the numbers these pollsters are putting any longer? How do I defend their accuracy when they’ve shown themselves at least twice to have severely misread the electorate? How do I continue with my projections when I know that the data underlying the whole thing could be faulty?

The answer, for right now anyways, is that I can’t. So I’m going to be shutting down my constant projections and poll updates for now, maybe giving occasional commentary on some major numbers that come out but otherwise I’m not going to bother. Until I see major reforms on the part of these companies, recapping the trends these polls are claiming seems like a rather hollow exercise.

In the meantime, I’ll be focusing more on commentary and the occasional analytical look at a riding, election, and so on. And of course, I’ll be working on historical elections over at Canadian Psephos during the course of the summer.

I may, may also be starting another commentary blog in the near future. This one will be separate from my political commentary here, and will focus more on issues in relation to secularism, religion, and other topics in that vein. We’ll see, though.

But for now, polling updates are done. So if you came here for that, sorry – but keep an eye on and Too Close to Call, who both do regular updates.

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