The independence roller coaster?

Today's 12% swing in favour of independence isn't the first time Research Innovations have produced independence numbers that aren't credible and correct next time around.

On October 10, 2006 I commented that:

Reading the latest poll results online, very quickly, from NY, my initial reaction to the Independence results is that they don't really make sense.

Big swings in undecideds such as this, in a two month period, just don't happen - in either direction - barring some major development to change people's minds. And that hasn't happened.

And then 2 months later, on November 28th, 2006 another poll was released and I wrote this (apologies for the broken RG links, they changed their website):

I was right. The latest poll has things back on track, with the last poll clearly an anomaly, although one that makes me question the methodology and interpretation of the results. The article and pollster should have disclosed that the results were inconsistent and viewed skeptically.

So in a 4 month period independence support suddenly went up and then dropped back to normal levels. Nonsense.

Which is why today's supposed 12% move also isn't credible. A statistically massive move like that would only occur with some significant event, not just in a two month period when independence hasn't been on the agenda.

The UBP has their own beef with the polls - and pollster - as well (a conflict I've written about before):

June 3, 2007

Dear friend:

I am writing as a result of a Royal Gazette story on Friday on national polling.

The story reported poll findings by the firm Research Innovations which we consider questionable and suspect.

Our own poll results from early May show a dramatically different picture.


These ratings differ dramatically from those reported in The Royal Gazette. We believe our figures are more accurate for two reasons:
They are supported by our polling in marginal constituencies with a second polling company that has worked in Bermuda for many years; and
The Royal Gazette pollster Mr. Walton Brown is the cousin of the Premier and also, at this time, listed to be a candidate for the PLP at the next election. I believe this constitutes a conflict of interest.

The United Bermuda Party is well-positioned to win the next election.

Our push for integrity in government, education reform, strong public safety, seniors care, tax relief and environmental protection stands in sharp contrast to a government that is faltering in terms of performance and trust.

| More