samedi 8 octobre 2011

Are the Tunisian polls reliable?

Opinion poll of September 30th published in Tunisian newspaper La Presse

Vox populi vox dei. Yes, the voice of the people is the voice of God, and as I was saying in a past article, there isn't a shortage of parties or candidates to choose for the election of October 23rd. For voters, choosing the right one for them is not the easiest task, since many parties have only slight differences between them.

Amongst all the parties, a few have managed to find their way atop the rest if you look at the latest polls. Actually, this may have little meaning, as many Tunisians doubt the accuracy of such predictions. Either way, opinion polls have been banned as of September 30th. The most reliable of these polling firms, or the least doubtful if you wish, is Sigma. During a conversation in the building of the local radio station RTCI, activist Sameh Krichah made his skepticism about these polls quite clear She stated that Tunisian polls aren't reliable and that you can't be sure if they are biased or not. However, she did add that Sigma is usually a trustworthy  source of information.

If we compare the most recent Sigma poll (in French – see page 5) with Tunisian newspaper La Presse’s (in French), that was also use by the reliable Tunisia-live.net, we can see that the data is relatively similar. Numbers may differ but at least the standings are all the same. At first glance, Sigma’s methods appear thorough (see page 2).

In both polls, the Islamic party Ennahda holds a respectable lead against the Progressive democrat party (PDP), Ettakatol and the Congress for the Republic party (CPR). It will be interesting to see what happens from now on since polling can’t be done anymore. Will the current standings be reflected come Election Day? Whatever the answer, the only sure thing is that we don’t really know what to expect. Furthermore, these polls show that undecided voters outnumber any party’s standings. Promising…

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