Polls emerge as campaign tool but results secret

| 15/05/2013

Comedy ballot.JPGCNS): A number of politicians in the 2013 general election campaign have used polls to help them gauge their strengths and weaknesses among voters. Although common in most democracies, with the major pollsters becoming increasingly accurate, the election tool is relatively new in Cayman and so far, as the voter surveys and straw polls have been funded by the politicians, the results have been kept under wraps. The secrecy surrounding the results may be an indication that no party or group is happy with the outcome. If not entirely accurate, the polls can offer at least a gauge of the mood of the voting population ahead of the polling day and help target campaigning.

Predictions for the 2013 result have been coming in hard and fast to the CNS newsdesk too, all of which appear to differ greatly, ranging from a UDP victory squeezed from the jaws of defeat to a PPM slam dunk, from a deadlock between the parties, as a result of the now even number of seats in the LA, to a coalition led by Ezzard Miller. With 56 candidates in the race for 18 seats, the forecasts have been as varied as there are possible outcomes.

With such widely differing opinions, the 18,500 voters in Cayman appear to be divided and many still remain undecided, even though there is only a week to go before polling day.

So far, none of the political groups, most of which have been using polls as an information resource since well before the start of the campaign, have released their findings but polls were also used to help pick teams and party slates, the results of which are apparent.

Where polls are used in other democracies, the results tend to increase in accuracy as election day draws closer because more people have made a decision, but it is unlikely that Cayman’s political parties and teams will be continuing with their polls during the final week of the campaign.

While Cayman is still a long way from having the widely publicised pre-election polling that now dominates election landscapes in the United States, Canada, the UK, across Europe and in other major countries with ever more accurate predictions, the introduction of more polls this year suggests that in future elections the voters may begin to get a feel of the mood of their fellow voters before Election Day, information which can be extremely influential.

In the absence of a scientific independent poll, Cayman News Service has opened its own on-line poll this week to gauge how readers on Cayman’s most interactive news source will be voting, giving us an idea of how influential the 13,000 daily CNS users are on the political landscape. We are asking readers if they will be voting ‘straight’ for either the UDP, the PPM or independents or if they will be mixing up their vote with a party and independents.

To join in the CNS straw poll click on the link below and tell us how you think you will be distributing your votes:

CNS Poll: How will you be voting?

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Category: Politics

Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I have received four calls that were polls.    Each one began with "may I speak to the youngest voter in your house?"    Then went on to ask loaded and biased questions.    Not a poll, but a veiled campaign.   I knew they were calling from the U.S. when one listed the districts and pronounced "Bodden Town" as BOW-den Town.   I was willing to cooperate with the poll, but won't answer questions for which there is no answer I identify with.   

  2. Just Commentin' says:

    #4 in your Alternative Vote Ballot Paper represents my opinion of Makeeva Bush, while #2 and #3 represents my opinion of almost all the rest of 'em.

     

    Brilliant illustration. Thanks for the smile!

  3. Slowpoke says:

    We currently have three voters in our house (GT) and have not received one phone call or knock on the door.  I guess posting on CNS under a pseudonym, is kind of like wearing garlic around your neck when the vampires are out.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I live and vote in East End and have not received one call.  I guess they dont care about the Eastern Districts.  Just goes to show, that we are not all treated equally in this small island.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I got called at home in the US even though I am not a citizen or voter in Cayman. I have a vacation home but no local number or post box. Weird.

  6. Tim says:

    I personally don't like polls. I think people should think for themselves, and what a poll does is influence people to think one way. You can see this in the United States. I personally think that polling less than a month or two months prior to general elections should be outlawed. Word to the wise:  Let us not have it here in Cayman!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have voted in your poll, but in response to calls I have received at home my response was "F*** off, and don't call here again". There must be a lot of different pollsters, or they have difficulty with comprehension,  as I have received no less than 6 calls over the last month or so.