Why the polls get things wrong

Just posted this in reply to an article on LinkedIn. Thought it could also go here… Folks trying to explain polls often seem to look for one or two sources of error. Even the UK polling enquiry seemed to be looking for that ‘one big thing’ and appeared to discount small issues that could have made a […]

Some big news, for me

Two pieces of news that are kind of a big deal, for me. Firstly, I’m ditching my landline! I’m not a student and I’m not in a low income band, so make of that what you will. Secondly, after 10 June I will no longer be a pollster. I have resigned from my current role […]

The public sector fixation on high response rates

In my current role I spend a good portion of my time responding to requests for proposals from government agencies. I really like working with social sector clients, because their research often needs to be highly defensible and robust, and because I prefer to spend my time on research that can make a positive difference. […]

Are we down to three polls in NZ?

So, DigiPoll has shut up shop, and I haven’t seen a poll out of Fairfax in a long time. Are we down to just three polls now? (Newshub, ONE News, and Roy Morgan.) This is not good at all, if true. With less data, it’s harder to develop new methodological and analytical approaches to polling. 

The New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study

My good friend Chris runs the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study. This is a 20-year longitudinal study of social attitudes, personality and health outcomes. It is unique to New Zealand, and has now been running for around seven years. There is a big article about it in the Herald today. Last July, when a nationwide row about racism […]

The future of polling in New Zealand

(I wrote the below article for the current edition of Interview – the magazine of the New Zealand Research Association.) Polling is a small part of what we do as an industry, but as the most publicly facing part it’s important our polls are considered robust measures of voter sentiment. The recent failing of UK polls […]