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ROBBINS deconstructs a mainstream public relations poll
  Sep 30, 2006

On September 29, 2006, The Vancouver Province published a poll which states "BC Liberals hold 10-point lead in new poll". "The information provided in the article suggests something else altogether," says ROBBINS Sce Research (1998) President and CEO Glen P Robbins.
The poll conducted by a major polling firm "typifies the type of public relations spin polling is often used for", states Robbins. "In this case there is an advertisement placed directly underneath the poll article relating to Gordon Campbell's 'conversation on health.'"
Although the article indicates that the governing BC Liberals have 47% of decided public support to 37% for the NDP, it also reveals that Gordon Campbell personally has 47% support and a 48% disapproval rating, while BC NDP Leader Carole James has 54% support and 23% disapproval rating.
Adds Robbins "the proper way to consider the true support of a political party is to consider both the leader and the party label. Generally speaking the leader is worth 25% and the party is worth 75%."
"After factoring in all information in the article, but in particular the leader support and the party support, the two provincial parties, according to the information presented in the article, are in a virtual dead heat." concludes Robbins.
Robbins also notes two other concerns he has with these types of "goodwill" polls. "The first thing I look for is the calendar period over which the poll was conducted, and the second is the release date." "This poll's outcomes in terms of new value is somewhat dubious because the poll was conducted between September 8 and 17, 2006, but was not released until September 29, 2006."
"There should never be this type of time delay between the conclusion of the collection of respondents data and the publishing of a poll." "No poll worth its salt would permit these types of time discrepancies." "It really begs the question, who is the pollster working for?"
Robbins says he is "concerned" that "the manner with which the poll was presented, in particular the headline, which was not justified by all of the evidence in the article, and the fact that only the last day or so of the survey date caught the media frenzy over the massive 2010 overspending, makes the entire article appear more like media propaganda and public relations only, than any exercise in democratic discourse, specifically public opinion." Glen P. Robbins (604) 942-3757

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