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Research Association NZ Political Polling Guidelines


MONDAY, JULY 24, 2017

Research Association New Zealand Political Polling Guidelines

With the election only two months away the noise around political polling is getting understandably louder. So Research Association New Zealand (RANZ) is providing a helpful little guide on reading and reporting polls for journalists which you can download from http://www.researchassociation.org.nz/political-polling

The key points of the media guide (last page) are:

1. Check your source. Is the provider of the poll a reputable pollster with a solid track record? Are they a RANZ member?
2. Is the poll based on a robust national sample of not less than 500 respondents and is the sample representative of the whole country across most demographics within the voting population?
3. Is it a random sample? How did the pollster select the respondent? Or did the respondent self-select?
4. Have the numbers been well explained? Are the sources quoted? Can you view the questions? Is the poll reasonably consistent with other current polls. If it isn’t then you need to ask why.

Bad reporting of polls is as troublesome as bad polling so it’s helpful to check your conclusions with either the pollster themselves or a reputable commentator with a deep knowledge of polling. Wherever possible, be sure to provide links to the poll itself rather than just quoting the headline grabbers.


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