by Taylor Saunders and Annette Przygoda
Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants
- Eligibility to vote
- Registered to vote
- Past voting behaviour
- Level of knowledge about the electoral process
- Level of interest in the current political campaign
- Actual intention to vote in current elections
- Party affiliation
- Demographic information
Likely and Undecided Voters in British Columbia
- The questions used by all three companies get at party or candidate affiliation, but do not directly determine whether a survey respondent is a) eligible to vote and b) determined to show up on election day.
- Only EKOS appears to also ask questions about respondents’ past voting behaviour, but interestingly, the question used focuses on voting behaviour in the past federal elections. This is problematic, because we know that in general, voter turnout tends to be higher in federal elections than in provincial elections. Someone may well be inclined to vote federally, but has no history or intention to participate in the provincial elections.
- All three polling companies used questions that included the wording "if the election were held tomorrow....", or a variation thereof. Research on voting behaviour has shown that this wording doesn't accurately capture voter intent. In fact, in surveys where respondents are asked to questions, one about a hypothetical election day "tomorrow", and one about the actual election day, results often differ to some extent.