Polling is one of the most important things for Policy Guildford to achieve. We need to know what the major issues are that trouble the residents of Guildford as well as general polling on what the vote distribution is. Will this help the parties? Absolutely – they’ll know where they need to target and what they need to talk about to get the vote however this information will be freely available to all parties as well as the general public (although no personal data will be available in any form).
Polling is planned to start in the near future and we will be conducting the first poll on the high street however there are plans to conduct door to door polls within the different wards and divisions to provide even more accurate data on individual areas rather than relying on those who come to the high street.
Problems with Polling
In the last few months we have all seen inaccurate polling with the EU referendum exit poll showing a result which was the opposite of the final result. We can’t guarantee that our polling will be 100% accurate because we can’t stop people not telling the truth however our methodology and questions will be released so that it is clear that any results are the result of what we’ve been told rather than bias. We plan to collect age and gender information so that can be compared with voter intention but we don’t have plans to collect ethnicity etc. Our sample size is nothing compared to the polling of organisations such as YouGov or Ipsos Mori however we are only collecting data in Guildford (central area).
We plan to collect around 50 responses per polling date on the high street and this sample size is exceptionally small and so the data collecting is likely inconclusive. However, repeated polling and email polls (addressed in another post coming soon) should help to increase the overall sample. Individually the polls need to be looked at with a knowledge of the small sample size which will increase inaccuracy however when we look back it should provide a more accurate picture. Questionably it maybe inaccurate due to the change in date where people change their minds (particularly those who are undecided voters).
What to do with the data
We’ll be publishing our findings from each poll on here as well as a link to the full data set. The published findings will contain easy to understand graphs however the main use the these polls is to find what the most important issues are for the people of Guildford and particularly what the most important things are in each division for the upcoming County Council elections. We will then use this to question the candidates standing (included incumbents) and then ask them what their plans are. We will then include their responses in the next set of poll questions (particularly email polls and polls in the areas where the candidates are standing).
We’ll keep you posted.