, 12.03.2017 08:01 PM

A Ford Nation poll, inaccurate 21 times out of 20

Look, I get along well with Doug Ford. I shouldn’t, given that I am a Bolshevik, in comparative terms. But we get along.


There’s this poll that mysteriously appeared tonight, dropped on a Sunday night for what is called “rip and read” – designed to secure lots of uncritical play on Monday morning.

I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of the “poll,” because life’s too short. But here’s some of the stuff it says:

  • “When asked, if the election was held today who they would vote for Mayor, 38.66% of respondents support John Tory, compared to 32.91% for Doug Ford, 28.43% of voters are still undecided.”
  • “With John Tory’s lead of 5.75 percentage points what is significant from this massive sample is that in 2014 Toronto mayoral election John Tory won with a 6.55 percentage points lead with 40.28%, to Doug  Ford’s 33.73% and Olivia Chow at 23.15%.”
  • “With such narrow percentage difference between John Tory, Doug Ford and the undecided falling within the margin of error, the race to become the next Mayor of Toronto is up for grabs with less than one year before Election Day.”


Along with being ungrammatical, and ridiculously self-promoting, here’s what is odd about this “poll.”

  • The outfit who cooked this thing up calls itself “The Firm Digital.” Ever heard of them before? Neither has anybody else.
  • Reputable firms always carefully describe their methodology. These guys don’t.
  • They get some pretty basic stuff wrong. For example, with a sample of this size, their margin of error is actually 0.78 per cent, not 4.1 per cent.
  • They claim to have done this gargantuan poll by telephone. But most Fortune 500 companies couldn’t afford to pay for a telephone survey with that many respondents. So who paid?
  • They haven’t included any tables. Why not? Every reputable polling firm always includes tables. What are they hiding?
  • Go to their website. It’s a splash page, basically. Nothing else. And if you Google Firm Digital, you see that the firm only started this year.
  • Oh, and this: their “CEO,”‘ Ramona Benson, has appeared for months playing a “reporter” in the videos of the rabidly anti-Wynne group, Ontario Proud. Not exactly neutral behaviour for a “pollster.”
  • Any reputable polling agency that my firm works with are registered with the MRIA – the Market Research and Intelligence Association. These guys aren’t.

Anyway: it doesn’t add up, folks. At all.

I’d say that something is rotten in Ford Nation, but you knew that already.

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