A thorough insight on the structure of election polls by Prof. Claire Durand

By Sarah Rashdi

GOMBAK, 11 November 2020:  “WAPOR Asia Kuala Lumpur 2020” virtual conference yesterday witnessed a detailed explanation on the structure of election polls following a sharing session by Prof. Claire Durand.

Prof. Claire Durand, who was former president of World Association of Public Opinion Research (WAPOR), gave her presentation on ‘Analysis of Polling during the United States Presidential Election’.

The session shared was loaded with the differences that appear between the modes used; face-to-face, web, live interviews and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) in different aspects; overall mean, variance, trends or forecast in the election polling.

Prof. Durand emphasised that the elements of polling were influenced by the differences between the modes used. In most elections, there are significant differences between modes but they are rarely substantial.

The usage of different modes influences the differences in trends which the pollsters, researchers and the media should be aware of in order to adjust to the failure of previous polls, especially with the difficulty faced by web polls to detect changes dissimilar to IVR polls which appear to be more accurate.

Prof. Durand stated: “In previous transitions between modes, it was difficult to study the impact because the transition occurred all at once.” However, the concern was raised to revise the methods in order to process a clear estimation from the polls and as a preparation for unconditional situation like the current pandemic.

Being inundated with polls about the state of the presidential race was particularly a method to reveal the public’s priorities and values. Ultimately, the results should appear accurately in order to be able to tell what the voters decided and why.”

Prof. Durand concluded, “The use of multiple modes in the same election helps us to understand the differences and we should go from here.” In the United States 2020 election, the polls which are infused with random samples seem to perform better.

The election polls provide an important information about where an election may be headed or what challenges that may occur.

The session was moderated by the Chairman of WAPOR Asia Kuala Lumpur 2020, Prof. Dato’ Sri Syed Arabi Idid from IIUM.***

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *