Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Today in Totally Useless Polling

The Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald have released polling information on the Alberta PC and Alberta Liberal leadership races, giving us valuable information about who is winning...among people who will not vote in the contest.

First, the numbers:


Mar 12%
Morton 8%
Redford 6%
Orman 4.7%
Horner 4.7%
Griffiths 1.5%


Sherman 9%
Blakeman 6.5%
MacDonald 5.4%
Harvey 2.6%
Payne 2.1%

While this is all very interesting, the reality is only 3% of Albertans voted in the last PC leadership race (which, in fairness, isn't much below the province's voter turnout rate in recent elections). For the Liberals? The number is 0.2%, and that's only because I rounded it up.

So, of the 900 people who took part in this survey, there are probably under 30 who will vote in the PC race...and maybe 1 who will take the time to vote for a new Grit boss.

That's not to say we should completely ignore what the general public thinks. After all, despite what some recent decisions might lead you to believe, most parties try to pick leaders who will appeal to the public at large. So a survey measuring how familiar voters are with the candidates and what they think of them isn't a complete waste of space.

But there's absolutely zero benefit in using something like this to try and figure out who is leading.

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