Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Decima Polls

A new Decima poll out today has the Liberals up 10 points on the Conservatives 35% to 25% with the NDP at 21% and the BQ at 13%.

It is one of a series of polls conducted via the internet. I think that net polling is where we are headed in the future and is going to be increasingly important, but one should note that these election polls I think are best described as an experiment. For example, see this description of the methodology on this news release from Decima. Note the section I underlined below, which is an important qualification.

(Decima has launched an innovative on-line voter tracking study in collaboration with the Carleton University School of Journalism and Communication. The data reported here was gathered over the period November 26 through December 1st, from 4337 survey participants, drawn from Decima’s proprietary eVox online panel. For a comparable random probability sample, the findings would be considered accurate to within 1.49 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Decima plans to re-interview those who agree to be part of a special election-tracking panel each week leading up to the election.)

I do think these results are worth watching, and Decima has apparently pre-selected this panel in the traditional way but the approach remains quite new so some caution is in order.

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