Headlines (News Releases)
Laurier to host seminar for media on assessing public opinion polls
Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
Aug 23/11| For Immediate Release
Andrea Perrella, Director
Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
TORONTO – The Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy (LISPOP) will host a seminar on the collection and interpretation of public opinion Sept. 6 in Toronto, with special attention paid to the 2011 Ontario general election.
The seminar, titled “Gauging Public Opinion During an Election Campaign,” is open to the public but geared toward the media. The seminar will offer great insights and tools for media covering the upcoming Ontario election, including the process behind seat projections and the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to analyzing the electorate.
"Media coverage during elections is fraught with risk,” said Andrea Perrella, director of LISPOP. “Polls can lead to all sorts of exaggerations if not used properly, which is why we have to be careful about how surveys are used to measure where the electorate is headed, and whether the parties are succeeding in getting their message out. Today, with polling firms using a mix of different methods in order to reach voters, using polls to measure public opinion is even more challenging.”
The seminar will be divided into two sections. The morning session is dedicated to the process of data collection, presented by Darrell Bricker of Ipsos Reid and University of Toronto political scientist Peter Loewen of VoteCompass. The afternoon session will focus on the methodology of converting poll numbers to seat projections, led by Laurier political scientist Barry Kay and Eric Grenier of ThreeHundredEight.com.
The seminar will be held Sept. 6, 2011 at 10 a.m. at Laurier’s Toronto Office, 130 King St. W., Toronto. Seating for this event is limited. Those interested in participating are asked to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LISPOP has also begun its 2011 Ontario Provincial Election Tracker, an interactive map with seat-by-seat projections of party standings based on an analysis of current polls. Modelled after the popular LISPOP Federal Election Tracker, the site also features a blog where users can read explanations from experts and engage in the discussion themselves. The website, /lispop/provblog2011, will be regularly updated from now until the election.
About LISPOP: The Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy is a research centre at Wilfrid Laurier University that studies issues pertaining to the creation, use and representation of public opinion in the policy process. The institute serves as a catalyst to promote individual and collaborative research on these issues. The institute also monitors the practices and claims of the public opinion and interest group industries, and serves as an educational resource on questions and issues pertaining to those claims and practices.