Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Aug 12 Ipsos poll predicts huge voter turnout in November City referendum

I know I just raised this issue, but a new way to speak to it came to mind.

The August 12th poll by Ipsos predicts that 77% of the voters in the City of Victoria will cast a ballot in the November referendum on borrowing for the Johnson Street Bridge replacement project.   This astonishing result will be highest turnout for an election in Victoria in more than a generation.   Just under 50,000 people are predicted to vote in this referendum.

Based on how they state their results, this result is accurate +- 5.3% 99 times out of 100.   This means they predict that we will have at least 72% of the people vote.

Now if anyone believes this is an accurate result for how many people will vote, I will happily lay a bet with you that it is not within the 99% confidence margin.

So if we can all agree that this one result is completely and totally wrong and it is the only we can accurately make an estimate off, how can we assume all the others to which we have no baseline to measure it against is accurate?

Either you accept that all the results are correct or you have to assume all of them are wrong.   Picking and choosing is not an option that is valid.   You can do it, but then you can make anything and claim to believe it.   The survey is either scientifically correct or it is not.   I content that it is fundamentally flawed.
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