How Accurate Can A Straw Poll Be?

WELL, the first straw poll to be conducted on this blog, regarding readers’ voting intentions, has now closed – with surprising results. If the straw poll is to be believed, Castle Point could be in store for a Conservative landslide similar to the 2003 local elections.

It totally confounds my personal opinion that Canvey Island would reject the Canvey Island Independent Party in favour of its traditional Labour support. Perhaps it is the case that residents still remember what it was like under a local Labour administration pre 2003.

However, it is difficult to place much confidence in a straw poll produced from the opinion of just 88 machines in the hands of readers. As a regular contributor has pointed-out: a family sharing a single machine account can only vote once in the poll; so any result is going to be skewed if a family is split in its voting intentions.

I believe some scepticism of the results is warranted, with the only conclusion, which can be safely drawn, being that the Conservatives seem to be comfortably ahead – at the moment.

Spink’s fly-posting, it seems, has been particularly ineffective. It is understood that his campaigners have been illegally erecting campaign posters on private property and telephone poles throughout the borough. I am told that John Riley, the Electoral Commission Representative, has had to arrange for their removal – at further expense to residents.

If the individuals responsible are reading this: please stop breaking the law and causing residents this hassle. You are only making your case worse…

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