Friday, January 15, 2016

The Only Poll That Got The British Election Right Gives Trump 18 Point Lead

The overview of the polling in the U.K.'s general election shows that all polling firms, except one, got it wrong. The reasons are complex and varied but are clear and are a challenge to the industry.

Survey Monkey however stood out as getting it right. What is particularly interesting is that it is an internet polling company which goes against the received wisdom that only the personal/telephone interview methodology is the correct one. That this is still prevalent in some quarters is shown by Real Clear Politics selectively using interview polls in their "poll of polls" aggregate (Huffington Post on the other hand uses all polls.)

Time will tell if Survey Monkey has indeed created a new methodology which takes account of non-voters/cell phone users/retired people/young people and all the modern factors involved. Time has told that the polling companies recent records have been dismal to say the least (U.K./Israel/Kentucky etc etc polling disasters ) and in the meantime Survey monkey has grasped the ring.

In the latest polling their Trump/Cruz/Rubio are almost exactly the same as the others except for the latest NBC/WSJ poll which has a large nearly 5% margin of error. What can be said with certainty is that the most effective polling firm gives Trump an 18 point lead and it shows Cruz having no further momentum with Rubio and all the other candidates basically static. 

Interestingly the Huffington Post aggregate, which is considered the most reliable poll because it smooths out "outliers" has Trump at 37.2% and Cruz at 19.2% almost exactly the Survey Monkey result which must give them, and the public, confidence in their methodology.

Trump is up 3 points from their previous poll Cruz up 2 Rubio down 2. The margin of Error is a low 1.4 which shows little effective movement, certainly no Cruz "surge" and Trump well ahead nationwide


SurveyMonkey Was The Other Winner Of The U.K. Election

To more than one pundit, last week’s election in the United Kingdom looked like it would be the closest in a generation. But at SurveyMonkey’s Palo Alto, California, headquarters, thousands of miles away, things looked very different: Respondents to an online poll conducted by the Internet survey company from April 30 to May 6 showed the Conservatives, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, as poised for an unexpectedly comprehensive electoral triumph.
SurveyMonkey’s decision to enter the fray of a heavily polled, high-profile election created a big test for its methods, unusual even by online pollsters’ standards. In this instance, those methods worked well. But what does that mean? That its kind of online polling is ready to compete with, and beat, more traditional methods? Or that this poll was just a fluke?

For the poll, SurveyMonkey solicited responses from Britons who were taking other surveys — a random sample of 75,000 other U.K. surveys that were using SurveyMonkey’s platform. Eventually, 18,131 Britons told the company how they planned to vote.
This is very different from the methods of most online polling companies, including ones that polled about the U.K. election. Companies typically recruit panels of people who provide their demographic information and agree to be surveyed regularly. For each survey, the typical polling company selects a sample of panelists who roughly represent the electorate, at least demographically. SurveyMonkey didn’t know anything about the people it asked to participate when it asked, other than that they were in Great Britain.3

What SurveyMonkey’s respondents said looked very different from what people responding to other polls did. Every one of the roughly dozen major pollsters in the U.K. that released final pre-election numbers in the week before Thursday’s vote showed a lead of no more than 2 percentage points in the national vote share for either Labour or the Tories. Most showed a lead of 1 point or a tie — which led most forecasters, including the onesFiveThirtyEight partnered with, to predict that no party would win a majority of seats in Parliament, because of the strength of smaller parties.4SurveyMonkey, though, found that the Tories were ahead by 6 points — a result that would have major implications, implying the Conservatives could approach and achieve a majority.5
he Conservatives won 331 seats overall, enough for a majority and 99 more than Labour. And they won the popular vote in Great Britain by 6.6 percentage points — in line with SurveyMonkey’s results.

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