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An encouraging poll result in Guelph, but the race is far from over.

Byelections normally don’t get polled, so there’s been some question as to how the races in these 3 byelections have been developing. I noted a column today from Thomas Walkom in the Star where he said Guelph was one of those ridings that theoretically, the Conservatives should be able to win because of its demographics and economic situation. So, this first poll I’ve seen on the Guelph byelection if accurate will be a bit of a downer for the Cons. in this riding. On the other hand, its very encouraging news for the Liberals and Frank Valeriote’s campaign in Guelph:

Frank Valeriote looks to become the next Member of Parliament for Guelph, based on the most recent polls completed by KlrVu Research. Over thirty six percent of voters have indicated their support for the Liberal candidate, and he retains a 10-percentage point lead over nearest competitor Gloria Kovach of the Conservatives who has 26.35% of the voters polled…”The biggest surprise in this poll is the dramatic fashion in which the Green Party has overtaken the NDP in just two and half years. The Greens came in at 19.2%, up 11 percent from their 2006 tally, whereas the NDP have dropped from 22% to 17.7% during the same period. Also interesting, it seems the Green support is coming from all of the parties, not just the NDP.” Stated Bruinooge.

Take a look at the polling sample size this company did:

This poll was completed in two rounds on July 27th and August 13th, sampling over 3396 random residents of the Guelph constituency representing nearly nine percent of all households with a 95% confidence level and a margin of error of 2%.

That’s a massive sample size – as big as a national sample size. If true, that is a pretty good lead for Frank Valeriote and the Liberals with a couple of weeks to go.

Now, my thoughts on this poll: It’s an unknown polling company, at least to me, so folks need to be careful not take this poll as Gospel. You’ll also note that their methodology that they used is automated touch-tone polling. Some people have issues with this, but a couple of pollsters in the US are using this – such as SurveyUSA – and their polling results have been pretty accurate, so I’m not one to discount that methodology.

The bottom line however is that the race isn’t over – it’s far from over – and my suggestion to the Liberal team is to continue to work on the ground as if you’re 10 points down, not 10 points up.

[email protected] 1:00pm: It’s been pointed out in comments that this polling company is the same firm that was used by pro-life groups a month or so back to try and justify that a majority of Canadians opposed Henry Morgentaler’s receiving the Order of Canada, which was questionable to say the least, since only 7000+ respondents out of 157,115 called actually responded to this poll question. So with that new information, one could take this poll with a massively big grain of salt, since we have no idea out of the 3400 households that this polling company called how many of those actually bothered to respond to the poll without hanging up when they heard what it was (It doesn’t say at the news release how many did actually answer the questions).

The other angle would be that one could say that despite questions of the pollster’s objectivity and apparent strong ties to the Conservatives, it’s still a pretty bad result for the Conservatives in Guelph if a possibly partisan pollster still has them trailing by 10%.

UPDATE [email protected]:57pm: For a somewhat different take, check out Blogging a Dead Horse, who charges this is a bogus poll, but he feels that it was released to attack the NDP with.

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14 comments to An encouraging poll result in Guelph, but the race is far from over.

  • I’m not going to by the numbers at all. If it reflects the result, it will be by fluke only.

    Guelph should really consider the limited value in electing a Liberal over a Green this time, especially when it’s unlikely the MP will be working more than a couple months. A Green MP would clinch a televised debate spot for Elizabeth May, and any other party’s victory is unlikely to have any impact at all on the riding or on the country.

  • mushroom

    A “fictitious” poll designed to encourage the pro-lifers to support Kovach. Expect to see the “Dion kills babies” flyers appearing in the parking lots of Catholic churches this Sunday.

  • Deb Prothero

    Not buying anything this outfit has to sell. The Unrepentant Hippie discovered KlrVu is owned by the brother-in-law of a Con MP. Don’t give this poll or the company any hits. We don’t want this kind of manipulation of polling numbers during general elections.

  • Torontonian

    Conducting any poll over a 2-week span can hardly be considered accurate.

    People change their views from day to day and the shorter the time frame for the poll, the more accurate it is in catching the mood of the masses.

    A couple of negative press releases in a couple of days can dramatically shift the mood–and the poll results.

  • I will just add however, that I still stick to my statement in the blogpost that touch-tone polling -at least as its been done in the USA by SurveyUSA – has had pretty accurate results. There were other things involved in that massive poll that this polling firm did for the pro-life groups that put it under scrutiny, as JJ at her blog and a host of others have pointed out.

  • Hi folks: Thanks for reminding me about that polling firm and the controversy over the Morgentaler polling. I’ve done an update to the original post.

  • interesting…though doing it over a 2 week span leaves alot of error that isn’t accounted for. I am curious to see if the Green Party numbers hold, even more so if they can translate those type of numbers in a general election.

  • Torontonian

    It’ll take quite some time for KlrVu
    to redeem itself even after it divorces
    itself from the conservative party.

    Until then, any research from them
    is about as meaningful and valid
    as shares of Bre-X.

  • The Zoe Category

    Are you kidding me? Why are we listening to any numbers this KlrVu Research company says? (Even if positive…).

  • gretag

    I see there is a lot of info on this polling company at unrepentant old hippie and other sites.

    http://unrepentantoldhippie.blogspot.com/2008/07/massive-poll-somethings-up.html

  • @gretag – this poll is a con job. pro-life advocates posing as pollsters attempting to lull liberals asleep.

  • A 3400 sample in Guelph?

    Nu-uh – this one doesn’t pass the sniff test.

  • gretag

    I doubt that polling is legitimate. The company has polled for prolife groups and it has been pointed out that they have a login on blogging tories. Probably it is to the advantage of the Tories to have people think the Libs are way ahead and meanwhile the CPC will make sure they get out their votes. This will be a closer race between the Libs and Tories, and the Tories could take it.

  • […] Akin has done a pretty good investigative piece on the KLR Vu Guelph poll that caused some interest and controversy a couple of days ago when it was released. I’ll note here as I did over there at […]

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