Conservatives Top Polls Again, Polling Methods Questioned - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Conservatives Top Polls Again, Polling Methods Questioned

Published October 11, 2011

The Independence Party is once again the strongest party in the latest Gallup poll, but their polling methods have been criticised as leading and biased.
The latest Gallup poll shows 36% saying they would vote for the conservatives if elections were held today. 22% said the same of the Social Democrats, 16% said the same of the Progressives, 15% said the same of the Leftist-Greens, and 3% said the same of The Movement. 34% support the ruling coalition.
However, 14% said they would either submit a blank ballot or not vote, and only 60.5% gave up any answer at all.
While the conservatives have traditionally polled well, Gallup’s polling methods are now being questioned.
Marinó G. Njálsson, writing on his blog, recounts his experience being polled by Gallup:

The question I got about party support was the classic, “What party would you vote for if elections were held today?” I said I hadn’t made up my mind. So I was asked which party I thought I would most likely vote for, and again I said I hadn’t made up my mind. … Then I was asked, “Do you think it more likely that you will vote for the Independence Party or another party?” I said I found it probable that I would not vote for the Independence Party.

Gallup poll results do not differentiate between whether people gave a definitive answer regarding which party they would vote for and those who only expressed a varying degree of probability, which which he considers misleading.
The emphasis on separating the Independence Party from “other parties” could also be construed as leading poll respondents in how they answer.


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