Beyond the poll: responses to the failures of GE2015 #MRSlive @TweetMRS #MRX 


Live blogged at MRS in London. Any errors, bad jokes, or comments in [] are my own.

The power of small data in understanding the unknowable by Cordelia Hay

  • Used mobile Qual to understand voters, they were frustrated and disillusioned with politics
  • Ethnographic approach helped understand what really was happening
  • When so many important political events happen, things like a boy band can make people completely ignore the news
  • People were more concerned with national issues over local issues
  • People mattered much more than policy even though they say only policy matters
  • People really only cared about the economy
  • The winning party had people rallying around one single issue not many different issues
  • Small data provides diagnosis, deep insight into specific audiences, Behavioral insight, vivid, co-creative and ethnographic

Notes from a pollster: how to move forward rom GE2015 by Tom Mludzinski

  • Narrative was driven by polling, race was neck and neck of top two parties
  • Campaign rolling average had them identical
  • Tried looking at difference between online polls and telephone polls
  • 70% of telephone polls had a conservative lead but 56% of online polls had a labour lead
  • We will have a new set of problems five years from now so need a broader more durable solution
  • Using different methods of assigning unknown votes led to different results – squeeze questions, asking who they’d like to see as prime minister, who they related to
  • Start by trying to get a national rep sample of voting population, but we don’t know who will actually vote, and people can’t predict their own behaviours in terms of whether they will vote
  • They considered that past voting was a better predictors of future voting
  • But this time, 12% more than predicted said they do and did vote
  • Older people are much more likely to vote, bottom ten turnout constituencies were labour constituencies 
  • Correlation extremely strong for social grade, higher affluence is higher turnout
  • Maybe turnout was the biggest problem
  • Online is more likely to want to remain in EU, maybe it’s also age and Internet access

Heuristics, hatred, and hair:  forecasting elections the system 1 way by Tom Ewing and Orlando Wood

  • Fame, feeling, and fluency
  • Fame – if it comes readily to mind it must be a good choice
  • FLuecy – if I recognize a brand it must be a good choice
  • Feeling – If I have a feeling about a brand it must be a good choice?
  • Asked people to list out as many political candidates they can think of, ask how they feel about those candidates, and then ask if the candidates has distinctive assets whether personality policy or physical characteristics 
  • Trump is dominant and out in front of Hillary by a hair
  • People named Clinton and trump easily, but Donald trumps hair was more recognizable than other candidates
  • This election will be the lesser of two evils
  • Hillary has much more “happiness” than trump but both trump and Hillary are hated by the electorate
  • Trump has an advantage in fluency, most distinctive appearance, he owns the conversation
  • People know all of his slogans
  • Only #FeelTheBern is ahead of trump
  • Republicans really hate Clinton but democrats love her. Replicants really like trumpt but they are far more frightened up him
  • Hillary is more associated with the trappings of office and does better than Joe Biden 
  • When feeling is taken into account, they think Hillary will win
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