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Febble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-03-05 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #45
51. Thanks.
I am not disputing TIAs math.

But I think the evidence that poor polling protocol was a significant predictor of the extent of the mismatch between pool and count is strong evidence that it played a part.

The difference between TIAs assumptions and mine are simply that I am more prepared to accept the possibility that the polling went wrong. Collecting data is difficult, and at bottom, the polls are a sample and the count isn't - or shouldn't be. Any sample is prone to both sampling error and sampling bias. Vote counts, sadly, may also be prone to "sampling bias" aka fraud.

But whereas we know that the polls were a sample, and prone to all the ills that samples are heir to, we don't know that the vote count was.

I understand that some may feel that vote count corruption was so likely, and so likely to be vast, that it competes seriously with the possibility that the polls were simply wrong. But the idea that polls are unlikely to be wrong is simply a myth. Sampling error is simply one of the errors that polls can make. Sampling bias, for a whole host of reasons, is another, and the lower the response rate, the more likely - inevitable - it is. And retrospective questions are notorious for getting impossible answers. Polls in Britain conducted a couple of years after an election, tend to show that most people voted for the currently most popular party, not the party that actually won. And the results are well outside the "margin of error".

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