September 17, 2012

Monthly Wire

A Note on the Shifting Polls

By Monthly Wire
A Note on the Shifting Polls

­The latest Newspoll has Labor and the Coalition at 50–50 for the two-party-preferred vote.

By contrast the AC Nielsen poll has the two parties at 47–53.

Which poll is right?

In 2011, in Quarterly Essay 41, George Megalogenis addressed this question:

 

“There was a comical moment in the middle of [the 2010 election] campaign when the three competing published polls offered three different results. The Nielsen survey found the Coalition in front 52–48, Newspoll said it was 50–50 and Essential Research 54–46 Labor’s way.”

 

What to do? One option is to choose your preferred reality. The other?

 

“I thought then, and I am convinced now, that too much is being invested in these things – by the politician, the adviser, the journalist and even the audience.

I figure if I delete the paragraph that contains the phrase “Newspoll showed,” I’ll have to search beyond my comfort zone for a different way of looking at policy and politics.”

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