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RANZ says Kiwi political pollsters world class


Research Association says Kiwi political pollsters world class


Research Association of New Zealand (RANZ) chief executive Robert Bree said political polling in New Zealand is among the most accurate in the world with 97% to 98% accuracy in the last three general elections.

Mr Bree was commenting on American pollsters not correctly predicting the outcome of the United States presidential election, with only one pollster out of about 200 calling a Donald Trump victory.

He said New Zealand’s MMP system ensures votes largely translate into seats. Pollsters in New Zealand subscribe to the RANZ Polling Code https://researchassociation.wildapricot.org/Resources/Documents/Political%20Polling%20Code%202014.pdf.

Nevertheless, Mr Bree said New Zealand pollsters will be keen to learn the lessons that emerge from American polling which did not detect the level of desire for significant change from the status quo in approximately half the voters.

“The more radical Trump’s opinions and messages, the more they resonated with a disenfranchised mainstream in middle America. The media strongly amplified the anti-Trump sentiment of polls and largely ignored the depth of pro-Trump sentiment.”

Mr Bree said polling shortcomings included:
a. Secret Trump voters (lower participation of the conservative white majority in the opinion polls and over-representation of liberals)
b. Shy Trump voters (people who when polled were too embarrassed to admit they were voting Trump)
c. Voter turnout numbers. Media and Democrats over-estimated the turnout of minorities on voting day when in actual fact the heartland voter came out in record numbers

“The difference between Democrat and Republican vote was actually only around 200,000 votes with Democrats on the upside, but due to the FPP (first past the post) electoral college system and the concentration of those votes in coastal areas, the Democrat vote didn’t translate into electoral wins.”


ends

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