As the writ drops for the 2017 provincial election in British Columbia, NEWS 1130 is partnering with PlaceSpeak to gain insight into voting trends across ridings in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.
Following successful projects on Metro Vancouver’s transit referendum and the 2015 federal election, NEWS 1130 and PlaceSpeak are joining forces for the third time to poll residents in the region.
According to the CRTC, for the first time, more Canadian households subscribe exclusively to mobile (20.4%) than to landlines (14.4%). Landline ownership also tends to skew towards older demographics. In addition, the response rate for political polls conducted over the phone continues to decline. These factors have resulted in a decreasing level of accuracy when it comes to predicting election results. Online polls have emerged to tackle the growing problems with phone polls, but come with their own set of challenges. Participants are anonymous and responses are easily manipulated with online ballot-stuffing and sock puppet accounts (people participating multiple times).
PlaceSpeak’s unique location-based technology is pioneering a new way of online polling within specific geographical boundaries. The geo-verification process serves as a deterrent to negative online behaviour such as manipulation of results. Participants are also tied to their physical address, allowing for the easy breakdown of poll results by electoral district (riding). Finally, PlaceSpeak’s instant map visualization provides an easy way to observe the distribution of voter intention across the different ridings.
“The NEWS1130/PlaceSpeak partnership for YourVote2017 provides a valuable tool for people wanting to express their views and see how neighbours feel during this election campaign,” said Bruce Claggett, Senior Managing Editor at NEWS 1130. “The map of the Lower Mainland gives an overview of how people intend to vote. A deeper dive allows the same voters to engage in the issues that matter and impact their decision. What a great way to participate in the electoral system.”
Results are constantly updated both in percentage points and as a map visualization of the region, providing a snapshot of British Columbians’ voter intentions throughout the election campaign.
“Public Opinion polling methods have changed over the years, from door-knocking to telephone lines to online”, explains PlaceSpeak founder and CEO, Colleen Hardwick. “PlaceSpeak has been pioneering a new approach to location-based polling, and we are pleased to partner for the third time with NEWS1130 to explore public opinion during the provincial election in British Columbia. We watch with interest to see how this transparent, real-time geospatial method will play out in terms of accuracy. The larger the sample size the better!”