21 July 2008

ONE News Colmar Brunton Poll: July 2008

Below is a self-explanatory email sent to Guyon Espiner today about ONE News' opinion poll results from last night: -------------------- From: Dean Knight Sent: Monday, 21 July 2008 1:32 p.m. To: guyon.espiner@... Subject: ONE News Colmar Brunton Poll: July 2008 Kia ora Guyon I'm writing to seek some clarification about the results of the recent poll as reported by you. Based on the raw party support percentages reported in your item and assumptions reported by you, the Electoral Commission's Sainte-LaguĂ« calculator produces different results for the "seats in the House" snap-shot, namely: - National 65 - Labour 44 - Progressive 1 - NZ First 0 - Green 8 - United Future 1 - Maori 4 - ACT 1 Total 124 In contrast, your item only gives the Greens 7 seats and gives ACT one extra seat. I would be grateful if you could clarify the basis of your calculations. I suspect the differences may arise from the rounding of the party vote percentages by your polling company; however, it is not apparent from your item or material on TVNZ's website whether the differences are due to more precise computations or a mere error. Although such differences or errors may be arithmetically minor, the results of the polls are significant due to their ability to influence voters – particularly due to their ongoing currency in other media and commentators. The BSA recently upheld a complaint against 3 News for errors in reporting opinion polls (Knight v TVWorks Ltd (2008-023)). Regards --------------------

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good for you Dean.

Frankly I don't understand why they can't just get this right. Not only is it important in a democracy that voters have access to accurate information, it is very easy for them to get it right in the first place. This is not complex arithmetic.

What it is is just plain embarrassing and negligent.

Course Outline

Lord Justice Lawton in Maxwell v Department of Trade and Industry [1974] 2 All ER 122 said:

"From time to time ... lawyers and judges have tried to define what constitutes fairness. Like defining an elephant, it is not easy to do, although fairness in practice has the elephantine quality of being easy to recognise. As a result of these efforts a word in common usage has acquired the trappings of legalism: 'acting fairly' has become 'acting in accordance with the rules of natural justice', and on occasion has been dressed up with Latin tags. This phrase in my opinion serves no useful purpose and in recent years it has encouraged lawyers to try to put those who hold inquiries into legal straitjackets.... For the purposes of my judgment I intend to ask myself this simple question: did the [decision-maker] act fairly towards the plaintiff?"

This course examines the elephantine concept of fairness in the law, along with other contemporary legal issues.

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