Monday, June 28, 2004

So...what do we do about these pollsters?

Isn't this great? For all the talk about how this election was already over, the voters have proven that pollsters do not know everything. I'm sitting here watching the election results tonight and what do you know? The Liberals have slipped to a minority, but it's a solid minority. And with the results for the NDP, the Liberals have enough votes to govern.

Right up until the results started coming in tonight, the pundits were predicting that things were too close to call. Then the vote totals started coming in. The Liberals did well in Atlantic Canada, but that wasn't unexpected. Then they did well in Ontario, and you could see the puzzled looks all around. Then the totals kept coming in and it became clear that the Liberal numbers were solid, and the panelists seemed stunned. For awhile, they didn't seem to want to admit that what was happening was really happening...but it was. And it did.

I think I like this result, but I'm going to have to think about it for awhile. But for now, I'm just delighted that the poll that counted -- the one that we all participated in today -- turned out to be different from what everyone said was going to be the result. That makes me feel good. And I think it should give ammunition to those like me, who want to reconsider the role that polling should play in the election coverage.

This story certainly isn't over...

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