Change in technology skews pollster predictions

Pollsters need to ask how many people still have a landline?

To the editor;

For those who still believe pollsters can accurately gauge public opinion in the age of disappearing land lines, call display and unlisted cell phones, I’d like to remind them of the colossally inaccurate predictions pollsters made in the Alberta provincial election a few months ago.

Based on pollsters predictions, the far-right Wildrose Party was going to win by a landslide — much the same as what the pollsters have been predicting for the NDP in B.C.

However, when the votes were counted on election night, Allison Redford’s governing centrist PC party held 61 of 87 seats while Wildrose only took a paltry 17 seats. The pollsters were crestfallen by the results and baffled. What happened, they wondered?

Well, what has happened is a fundamental change in technology and it’s leading to severely skewed results for pollsters.

Ask yourself: How many people still have a landline? And how many people actually pick up that landline when they see that a pollster or telemarketer is calling?

It all goes to show that, more than ever, the only poll that really matters, or that has any validity whatsoever, is the poll that happens on election day.  And based on pure gut instinct, I predict that few people in B.C. are going to risk handing the provincial economy over to the NDP when the votes are counted on election night next May.

Massimo Mandarino

Vancouver