Ipsos Polling

By Monday, June 16, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

While we await this summer’s annual Ipsos – TPA survey that seems more like a marketing tool to influence respondents’ opinions than an actual snapshot of viewpoints, we thought we’d check how port authority chairman Mark McQueen’s favourite go-to-for-results-you-can’t-beat polling firm did on predicting the Ontario provincial election outcome.

In a case that looks suspiciously like hedging one’s bets, Ipsos came up with two outcomes: decided voters and likely voters.  Ontario Election a Photo Finish: Among Decided Voters, Liberals (33%) Edge PCs (31%), NDP (30%) in Three-Way Race; But Among Likely Voters, PCs (36%) Have Lead over Liberals (30%) and NDP (30%) reads the headline on their web page.

The difference between the Ipsos polling results and the election results, with the one exception of decided PC voters, are interesting considering that Darrell Bricker CEO Ipsos Public Affairs says in his YouTube You Have a Right to Know video series Ipsos is arguably the largest polling organization in the world.  Perhaps he must think size matters more than accuracy.

Ipsos Decided voters Ont Election

The Ipsos predictions are interesting when measured against the predictions of other firms that arguably aren’t the largest polling firms in the world.  As the graphic below shows, Ipsos ranks at the back of the pack at 10th and 12th in a field of 12 poll  results from various firms.


According to the above, Ipsos scored 13 in total errors in the Decided voters category and 21.6  in the Likely voters category, placing the firm third last and dead last in terms of the accuracy of their predictions.

Interestingly, Ipsos also predicted a landslide NDP victory in last year’s B.C. election, a vote that saw Liberal Premier Christy Clark returned to power.

No doubt the firm will do better when they take the helm for Chairman Mark in the annual whatever-they’ll-call it “poll” this summer.  We expect a headline like Toronto residents support for jets now at 112%.

Let’s hope they don’t forget their disclaimer.

They might possibly dust off the part of this one used in their January 2014 TPA poll for the TPA, released just ahead of the expected City Executive Committee vote on the island airport jet expansion.

“All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to, methodology change, coverage error and measurement error.”

It claims all sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error but perhaps the TPA polls are in an error range of their very own, sort of like the Ipsos Ontario election predictions.


Readers can find more about the Ipsos Ontario election results in this morning’s Star, including vice-president John Wright’s strange tweet rationalizing the poor Ipsos showing.

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