Starting today, I am launching a series of opinion polls in the lead-up to the general election that is widely expected over the next 6 to 9 months. I’m giving them the arbitrary name “Votker Series” — don’t ask.
No anonymous internet poll can possibly mean very much, of that I am well aware, and I will never claim that any results we obtain will be representative. Not even close!
All it will tell us is, very roughly, what Yawning Bread readers think about the various issues asked. But then, I have a rather high regard for my readers. If I may flatter myself for a moment, judging from the quality of the comments this site gets, you’re a thinking lot, which, erm, well, yes. . . only suggests that this survey is going to be a thousand miles from being representative of Singaporeans generally.
Never mind about the rest; we want to know what WE think of the issues, don’t we?
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All the polls will pivot on political parties — the two new parties formed only this year (United Singapore Democrats and Socialist Front) are not included, being too new.
Poll No. 2 onwards will take a basket of issues at a time, ranging from economic policies to social issues. How each subsequent poll is crafted depends on what results we get from the preceding poll. It’s going to b e a work in progress.
The plan is to let each poll stand for 10 days, after which I will post a report about results. Unless there is some major interruption, there will be three polls a month.
I thought about the risk of astroturfing, i.e. where a group of people try to skew the results by voting repeatedly. However, my questions are such that I don’t think it will be worth the trouble, especially when no claim is being made that it is representative of Singaporeans as a whole. Nonetheless, if I see responses accelerate suspiciously, I will close the poll prematurely. Basically, in my mind, alarm bells will ring when we get close to 500 responses, which is about ten times the number of comments I get for a controversial article. More than that, I will consider suspicious.
So here goes. Please take the trouble to do the survey (only 7 questions) [Poll closed at 00:30h, 11 Sept 2010, link removed.]
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Flash update 4 September 2010, 23:00h
The initial responses are very unrepresentative of Singaporeans in general. Up to this point, some 73 percent said they are “very unlikely” to vote for the PAP, compared to 66.6 percent who actually did vote for them in the last general election!
Even so, respondents are quite discriminating about the various opposition parties — looks like an interesting pattern may emerge.
Somewhat disappointing to me is that only about one in three readers (based on hit count for this post) are taking the trouble to do the poll. Hey people, please vote, so we get better results. [Poll closed at 00:30h, 11 Sept 2010, link removed.]. It’s anonymous.
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Flash update 6 September 2010, 00:35h
I wondered whether there was going to be a stark distinction between those supporting the SDP and those supporting the Workers’ Party. By this I mean the possibility that those who supported one would resist supporting the other, given the very different operating styles of the two parties. Turns out from a quick spreadsheet analysis that it isn’t so.
Those who indicate support for one often indicate support for the other, not necessarily at the same level, but not far apart. Hmmm…