Giorgio Marbach

Political-Electoral Polling in the Age of Bewilderment

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Representative Sampling; Spiral of Silence; Experiment; Undecided Respondents; Bad Practices.

This paper presents some of the main problematic aspects of polling in Italy. Among these approximately 400,000 families without telephone connection are excluded from most polling. Only 37% of households have landline telephone subscription available for sampling. Those with access only through cell phones already make up 42%. I must emphasise that the overused expression «representative sample » has been found to be technical nonsense. Experimental results are obtained estimating political tendencies when not directly expressed. The theory of the «Spiral of Silence» is considered and found to have become invalid. Fair political polling and adequate communication of the results are imperative. But both, typically, are too often found to be lacking. Agcom - the Italian Communications Regulatory Authority Guarantees, refuses to aknowledge its duty to monitor the quality of polls. Therefore one can only propose the creation of an independent body focusing on these aspects, while following the Italian Jury for proper advertising.

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