Editorial: Numbers game

Voters can do their homework on local candidates and leave the polls for the parties to play around with.

Every politician and would-be MP or MLA knows, or at least they should, that polling numbers don’t translate into seats.

Polling figures from Nanos Research released this week show the governing Conservatives, Opposition NDP and the Liberals in a virtual dead heat among decided voters, with support ranging between 29 and 31 per cent.

But even if that was the last poll conducted before election day, it wouldn’t necessarily mean Parliament would split exactly down those lines.

There is always a huge glut of people who are undecided up until the late stages of a campaign – some estimates put it as high as 25 per cent. In a close election race, the number of people who make up their mind just before heading to the polling station is likely far more than politicians or parties would care to see.

It would be interesting to know how many people use polling figures to help them cast their vote.

Unfortunately, releasing polling data has become a public relations ploy, especially with all the parties commissioning their own polls at various times.

One firm hired by the NDP came back with numbers last week that said Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was trailing an opponent by 11 points in his own riding. A poll conducted for a national media company with a far larger sample size and different methodology found Trudeau to actually be leading by five points.

Political parties hire pollsters to come up with numbers they feel will help them. Without a doubt, if the numbers don’t flatter them, they don’t publicize them. While stats heads might find the pre-election numbers interesting, the only ones that count are on election day.

So what do we take from this? Voters can do their homework on local candidates and leave the polls for the parties to play around with.

– Black Press

 

Just Posted

Maple Ridge senior facing homelessness at the end of the month

Jean Ticehurst can’t find affordable housing

Debate goes on about nutrition and autism in Maple Ridge

Spoke Wednesday at the Chrysta Learning Centre

UPDATE: Car plunges down embankment in Maple Ridge

Two people injured in morning incident

New rail underpass and overpass comes with costs

Pitt Meadows residents will see 0.75 per cent tax increase for rail crossings

Dewdney Trunk Road closed, vehicle crashes

Happened in early evening, injuries unknown

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Cars keyed on BC Ferries after alarms bother dog on board

Delta police arrested one passenger on suspicion of mischief

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read