Sunday, May 10, 2015

This article is nominally about the failure of polling in the British election, but it is also about us.

Somehow we have arrived at a point where the conscientiously held beliefs and values of the majority of the population have become a matter for secret shame. The desire to do as well as you can in life, to develop your potential and expect to be rewarded for it, to provide your family with the greatest possible opportunity for self-improvement and to do that on your own without being dependent on the state – these are the assumptions that seem to have become so unacceptable that identifying with them is beyond the pale, or at least so socially outrageous that it is not worth the ignominy of admitting to them.
The Left has so dominated the conversation and so noisily traduced the “petit bourgeois” values that guide the lives of what used to be called the “respectable working class” that, ironically, it is only the most socially confident who can openly embrace them. The very people whom Labour needs to attract (and which it did attract when it had re-invented itself as New Labour) are once again being bullied into hiding their true attitudes and opinions.
So they prevaricate and evade when asked how they will vote because they are intimidated by the condemnation of the Left-wing mob, or else they just are not self-assured enough to make the moral case (even in their own minds) for their choice. But when they reach the sacred solitude of the voting booth, they do what they know must be done for the sake of their own futures, and that of their families, and even of those the Left insists are being disadvantaged – because they genuinely believe that dependency is a bad thing and that self-determination is a social good.


robins111 said...

I can't speak for GB, but in Canada, the Pollsters are an integral part of the campaign. They frequently flat out lie about voter intentions, with the hope that people will back a winner, (as presented in their polls) Frank Graves of EKOS Canada was/is the worst offender in Canada with his drooling nonsense presented as fact, by a willing lefty media

MissAnthropy said...

It's the same thing pollsters do here. They attempt to manufacture a fait accompli by incessantly droning on and on about how voters clearly lean in favor of the Left wing candidate.

So the reason the polls got it so wrong in the UK elections, just like the polls have so frequently been wrong in US elections, is because they were never reporting truthfully in the first place.

Polls aren't meant to reflect reality, they're meant to shape it. They're meant to discourage conservative voters and embolden liberal ones; to nudge the mushy middle over to the "winning" side.

Anonymous said...

Many people do not trust polls, the people who operate them, or whether accurate information will be provided by them, once results are tabulated.

Many people decline to speak with pollsters, or will give answers that they believe the pollster's organization wishes to hear, depending on how questions are asked.

People will then vote the way they actually believe, with the voting booth seen as the last bastion of privacy.

In the past, polls have been used to discourage portions of the electorate into not voting. It is little wonder that few but pollsters, and some politicians, believe their posted results. The British election got little coverage here, but was a profound sea change in British politics. Socialists, Greens, and their ilk were dealt a serious defeat, the results of which are yet to be seen.

Anonymous said...

Another factor is Caller ID. Here in the USA "robo calling" has become such a pestilence that I often receive 10 calls a day with "Toll-free caller", "Private Caller", or "Caller Unknown" on my Caller ID display. And I'm talking about a normal day outside of political campaign season. Most of these get dumped. But if I'm feeling particularly frisky I answer one and mess with the caller. They are often "research firms". I'm not sure how many people give them bizarre answers out of a sense of "get even for interrupting my day". But I do.

And then there's "push polling" where the point is not to get your opinion but to use the questions asked to plant suggestions.

"Given reports that Mit Romney hasn't paid any federal income tax for the last ten years, how likely are you to vote for him?"