All those media stories about the Christchurch mayoralty race insisting that Bob Parker has surged ahead of Jim Anderton in the polls will become more credible now that there has been an actual poll conducted in Christchurch:
A UMR Research Poll released today shows 55 per cent of decided voters now intend to vote for the incumbent Bob Parker, up 27 per cent since June.
The survey was done online and questioned only a small sample of 361 Christchurch residents so had a relatively high margin of error of 5.2 per cent.
DPF is a professional pollster and he wrote about online polls a few days ago:
In some circumstances they can be very useful – especially when surveying the opinions of a discrete group.
But generally they are unreliable when it comes to being a fair sample of all New Zealanders. Because they are only representing those NZers who have joined that online panel. And even with weighting, this does not mean it is representative. A weighted sample can still be unrepresentative.
But my view is that at this stage in NZ, they are not a reliable indicator of New Zealand public opinion. I have seen many online panel polls like the above, which produce results massively different from those produced by phone polls. Normally I ignore them, but as some media reported this one, I thought it is worth making the point.
Naturally he blogged the results of this poll because it’s a poor result for a politician he doesn’t like but I think his earlier comments are useful.