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Political scientist: tracking undecided voters "critical"

12 Jun 11

Political scientist: tracking undecided voters "critical"

HorizonPoll’s party vote research is seen as going to tell a better story between now and the November general election.


In this TVNZ Media7 broadcast, political economist Keith Rankin, who teaches Economics and Statistics in Unitec's Department of Accounting and Finance, says other polls are misleading by misrepresenting results. This happens when they publish results for only decided voters.


Mr Rankin says the critical factor is the percentage of the voters who are undecided and what they intend. Only Horizon is publishing results for this group.


He also says Horizon’s practice of weighting results to take into account respondents’ 2008 party vote is also important, and online polling or representative population samples will become increasingly less biased over time and telephone polling is “in some ways yesterday’s technology.


The full broadcast can be seen here (click on item 2):


Mr Rankin has also posted comment on the subject here.


Horizon has publicly detailed its methodology, publishes full results and says some party vote polls could be excluding up to 30% of respondents from published results. Weighting by party vote can affect results by up to 5%.