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2010: Did online polling come of age? Anthony Wells – Associate Director Joe Twyman - Director of Political Research, YouGov.

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Presentation on theme: "2010: Did online polling come of age? Anthony Wells – Associate Director Joe Twyman - Director of Political Research, YouGov."— Presentation transcript:

1 2010: Did online polling come of age? Anthony Wells – Associate Director Joe Twyman - Director of Political Research, YouGov

2  YouGov founded in 2000  YouGov conducted 2 polls for the 2001 general election for the Sunday Business  By 2005, YouGov was the regular pollster for the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times. Also carried out fieldwork for the British Election Study and BPIX polls for the Mail on Sunday. Harris Interactive carried out 2 polls independently and press released during the campaign The history of online polling 2

3  From a panel of paid volunteers. Proactively recruited to try and be representative of all groups in society, but not necessarily representative as a whole.  Closer to quota sampling than random sampling ( invitations go out to random selections from various demographic groups)  Since 2010, YouGov has moved to more dynamic sampling to allow daily polling  Use of online panel means some areas are obviously NOT suitable for online polling. E.g. attitudes to taking up broadband or openness to new technology.  Respondents get paid 50p (not too high or too low)  Panellists not polled too frequent How online polling works (the YouGov model) Sampling 3

4  Rim weighted to standard demographics (age, region, gender, social class), plus party identification and newspaper readership (mainly to get the broadsheet v tabloid split right)  Important difference between online panel surveys and telephone surveys is WHEN the data is collected  Online panels collect demographic data when people register, store it, then use it to weight future surveys. Telephone surveys need to collect demographic data in the same survey  This mostly removes the problem of evolving false recall (or in YouGov’s case, party ID)  No spiral of silence adjustment or similar – lack of human interviewer should reduce any embarrassment factor How online polling works (the YouGov model) Weighting 4

5 In 2010, online pollsters outnumbered telephone pollsters Large number of new entrants, mainly online 5 Regular campaign pollsters 2005Regular campaign pollsters 2010

6  YouGov’s track record had established online polling as a respectable method.  Low cost  Low barriers to entry – no need for a field force, availability of panel providers  No geographical constraints Why was there an influx of online pollsters? 6

7 There were two major innovations in political polling in the 2010 election. Polling online was a major factor in both. 1 ) Daily Polling Had been attempted previously using “rolly-polls”, with some problems. YouGov did genuine daily polls with discrete samples of 1,400 a day. Feasible because of the low cost and rapid turnaround of online polling. The impact of online polling in 2010 Daily Polling 7

8 The Campaign YouGov Daily Polling Results 8

9 There were two major innovations in political polling in the 2010 election. Polling online was a major factor in both. 2) Post-debate polling Reliant upon panel technique and extremely rapid turnaround. Not necessarily online (ComRes used automated telephone) but YouGov, Populus and Angus Reid all online. ICM, using traditional telephone, was slower. The impact of online polling in 2010 Post debate polling 9

10 ConLabLDOth Con Lead Average error ICM Populus Harris Ipsos MORI YouGov ComRes Opinium Angus Reid TNS BMRB RESULT Final Predictions Telephone polls did better than online polls 10

11 ConLabLDOth Con Lead Average error ICM Populus Harris Ipsos MORI YouGov ComRes Opinium Angus Reid TNS BMRB RESULT Final Predictions …but this may just be established companies doing better than new ones 11

12  Online polling isn’t easy, and there were some comparative poor results from the new online companies.  How many will stick around? There have been Angus Reid, Harris and OnePoll surveys since the election (though not Opinium), but none have a continuing regular contract.  Growing competition to recruit panellists and challenges of recruiting and maintaining high quality panel The future of online polling 1 12

13  Growing problems with telephone polling from dropping response rates and the move from landlines to mobile only households. The existing phone model needs to adapt and change anyway.  Growing internet penetration  While new online companies did not have the greatest 2010 election, it is MUCH easier the second time around – companies like Angus Reid and Harris will now have baseline election data on their panels.  Move to online polling may end up being more pronounced amongst the established companies, rather than newcomers. Since the election ComRes are doing parallel online VI polls and Populus have done some political polling online. ICM and Ipsos-MORI do online polling, but not yet for mainstream political polling. The future of online polling 2 13

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