Innovation & accuracy – in RTE recall poll

Published by: Richard Colwell

2011.11.02

RED C Research proved its credentials for research innovation and accuracy again last week, by using a totally new approach to measure voter behaviour at the Presidential Elections.

Having decided that a face to face Exit Poll was not viable for the Presidential Election, RTÉ was left needing a high speed research solution that provided accurate feedback on voter behaviour, after the dramatic events in the final week of the election.

RED C stepped in on Tuesday of the final week to suggest an innovative and cost effective “Recall Poll” be conducted on the day of voting.   This entailed us re-contacting over 1000 people who had been polled across the six RED C pre-election surveys running up to the election, once they had voted, on the day of the election from 3pm and into the following morning until 10.00am.    Results were then provided to RTE by 12.00pm lunchtime the day after the election, to release on the News at 12.30pm.

To manage unknown factors such as different turnout across demographics, we used information from our final two pre-election polls on those likely to vote to set quotas, and we also ensured we interviewed people who had visited the polling stations at different times of the day, in the same proportions as had been seen at the last few elections.

The result was an extremely accurate and insightful piece of research, turned around at high speed.  The average error of the candidate support was just 0.7%, with the biggest variance being just +1.5%, despite a possible error of + or -3% on our sample of 1100 voters.

 

RED CRecall Poll% Actual
ElectionResult%
Difference%
Michael D. Higgins 40.2 39.6 +0.6
Sean Gallagher 27.3 28.5 -1.2
Martin McGuinness 13.9 13.7 +0.2
David Norris 7.7 6.5 +1.5
Gay Mitchell 6.7 6.4 +0.3
Dana Rosemary Scallon 2.2 2.9 -0.7
Mary Davis 2.0 2.7 -0.7
Average Error 0.7

 

Over and above the voter behaviour we were also able to provide clear information on how and why voters had changed their minds in the final week, and had moved directly from Sean Gallagher to Michael D. Higgins after the final debate on Monday night.

We were also able to provide clear evidence that it was previous Fine Gael and Labour supporters who moved away from Gallagher, while Fianna Fail support remained with him.

The result again confirms the accuracy of insight supplied by RED C, and also our ability to think on our feet and innovate, in order to provide cost effective and fast insight.

For more information on how RED C can accurately help you with your research needs please contact us  01 818 6316 orinfo@redcresearch.ie

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