GCSB poll – bogus self-selecting poll vs random poll

So, there we have it…

Oppose/not in favour of GCSB bill or support/in favour of GCSB bill?*

  • Research NZ random poll: 52% not in favour, 36% in favour (11% don't know)
  • Campbell Live self-selecting poll: 89% oppose, 11% support (don't know not offered as a valid response)

We have a relation visiting from the UK at the moment. Given what little he has read in the media, and what I have mentioned to him about self-selecting polls, his prediction was about 85% opposed in the Campbell Live poll. Nice.

Of couse self-selecting polls can be a bit of fun, given the right context. This poll is claimed by some to reflect public sentiment though, so it's not just a bit of fun and, in my view, this is not the right context.

Don't trust self-selecting polls if you want to accurately measure the views of the general public, or if you're polling on something you think is important.

*Usual caveats – the polls asked different questions, one was self-completion and one was interviewer administered. These caveats don't explain the differences in these results.

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3 thoughts on “GCSB poll – bogus self-selecting poll vs random poll

  1. The way the result is being promoted as history making meaningful is extremely poor journalism. Campbell has really got too emotional on the issue, I think it seriously threatens his credibility.

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