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SASKATCHEWAN ELECTION 2016

Pre-election polls are expected to be accurate in their


estimates of a voting tally or the share of the vote for
parties and candidates in an election, especially if they
are conducted close to the election itself.
- World Association for Social, Opinion and Market
Research, ESOMAR CODE, Section 8.1

TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Message from the President, 4
Polling 101, 5
Reading Our Polls, 6-8
FAQ, 9
For Media, 10
What to Expect in Saskatchewan, 11
Our Record in 2015, 12

A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT


Welcome to Mainstreet Research and thank you for reading our
guide to Saskatchewan Polling.
As I began writing this letter, we found ourselves in the early stages
of the US Presidential Primaries and although Mainstreet is a
Canadian company, I follow US politics pretty closely. Last week,
during the Democratic Debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie
Sanders, Clinton said that Wall Street cannot destroy Main Street. It
is perhaps appropriate to note that the sentiment expressed by Mrs.
Clinton is the origin of the name Mainstreet.
The Mainstreet name originates from a saying I have used for many
years, I cannot say whether I came up with it or if someone else said
it before me. The saying is as follows: The votes are on Main Street,
not on Bay Street. Public opinion is not determined on Wall Street or
Bay Street. Money is a necessary part of politics and public administration, and it can pay for many
persuasive things, but it cannot buy public sentiment.
Mainstreet Research began as a Technology company, nding technology solutions and providing data and
data integration to political candidates and parties across Canada for over a decade. As we grew and
evolved with emerging technologies like VOIP, SMS and GIS, we began to see that our big data approach
to sampling resulted in superior results than to those of 20th century pollsters. After a number of years of
extensive testing and the addition of various resources to our team, we began releasing polls for public
consumption and scrutiny. Our success in correctly predicting voter behaviour across Canada at all levels
of politics is a record we are proud to stand on.
Mainstreet Research continues to strive for excellence in the world of public opinion and research. Our new
technologies, including Smart IVR, Chimera IVR and our mobile application, CampaignR, continue to lead
while others wring their hands about decreased response rates and stampede to embrace online panel, non
probability sampling (or pseudo Probability Sampling) that has led to a series of catastrophic polling
failures in Canada and Europe.
We
We
We
We

believe
believe
believe
believe

in probability sampling.
in large sample sizes.
in eliminating/mitigating bias in every possible way.
in disclosure of scripting, and including undecided responses.

Thank-you for reading our guide to our Saskatchewan Election Polls, if you have any further questions
please dont hesitate to be in touch.
- Quito Maggi, President, Mainstreet Research

Dierentiated by its large sample sizes, Mainstreet Research has


provided accurate snapshots of public opinion, having predicted a
majority NDP government in Alberta, a majority Liberal government
in British Columbia and a majority Liberal government in Ontario.
Mainstreet has been the most accurate polling rm in several by
elections and the most recent Toronto mayoral election. Most
recently, Mainstreet Research was the only polling rm to correctly
predict a Liberal majority government in the 2015 federal election.

POLLING 101 - A SIMPLIFIED TIMELINE

SCRIPTING

The survey topic(s) is/are decided upon. Every


Saskatchewan election poll includes voter intention
questions. Working with our media partners we
determine additional issue questions.

DIALING

The poll is scheduled and dialed. This is where you may


receive a phone call from us.

DATA INTEGRITY

WEIGHTING

REPORT

RELEASE

All data is re-formatted and checked - this includes


removing any identifying information from responses to
ensure respondent condentiality.

The data from the poll is weighted to reect the general


population using our own proprietary formulas. You can
read more about weighting on page 8.

Tables are sent to our graphics team to create charts, we


analyze the results and build a press release. Our media
partner receives the details of the poll results.

The rst place the poll results appear is in the Leader


Post and Star Phoenix, later the full report is uploaded to
our website.

A3

If a provincial election were held today which party would you support?

55
50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Oct 6

Jan 4
SK Party

NDP

SASKATCHEWAN PARTY LED BY BRAD WALL


NDP LED BY CAM BROTEN
LIBERAL PARTY LED BY DARRIN LAMOUREUX
GREEN PARTY LED BY VICTOR LAU
UNDECIDED
SAMPLE
SASKATCHEWAN PARTY LED BY BRAD WALL
NDP LED BY CAM BROTEN
LIBERAL PARTY LED BY DARRIN LAMOUREUX
GREEN PARTY LED BY VICTOR LAU
UNDECIDED
SAMPLE

Feb 11

Liberal

Green

18-34
47%
27%
5%
5%
16%
300

UD

35-49 50-64 65+ Male Female


47%
50%
56% 53%
46%
28%
30%
25% 23%
32%
9%
6%
5%
9%
4%
2%
2%
1%
3%
3%
14%
12%
13% 13%
15%
337
335
505 643
834
Regina Saskatoon Rest of SK
SK
41%
42%
55%
49%
30%
36%
24%
28%
5%
5%
7%
6%
8%
2%
1%
3%
17%
15%
12%
14%
518
493
466
1477

READING OUR REPORTS


On the previous page weve dropped in an actual page from one of our Saskatchewan reports.
Here are some common things to look for in each of our releases.
1. Page number. Sometimes we will release the results of a poll in dierent parts. Youll be able to
tell if there is a companion report available by looking at the letter. For instance, if you see B4 this
means there is a companion report available (the A report). Similarly if you see a C series report
there are also A and B reports available.
2. Poll sponsor. Most polls youll see this election will be Mainstreet/Postmedia polls. These appear
in the Regina Leader Post & Saskatoon Star Phoenix. If you want to be the rst to read our results
make sure you have a subscription to either paper. There may be polls released this election
commissioned by a third party - in that instance you will see their logo prominently displayed in
the upper right hand corner. We identify the sponsor of a poll on every page of a release.
3. Question asked. In most cases this is the exact wording of the question though in some cases
we will condense or summarize a question with a subject heading. When you see something like;
PARTY AFFILIATION VS SUPPORT FOR LNG, youll see a breakout table looking at Party
Aliation (1 question) with the results compared to a second question (Support for LNG). You can
see the precise wording of questions on the Script page which is the third last page of a release
(unless the script runs more than 1 page).
4. Sample Sizes by Demographic. These are the raw sample sizes for the poll. In this case we
surveyed 300 adults between the ages of 18-34. 643 respondents were Male, 834 were female.
Every poll we release is weighted - for more on how weighting aects our polls see the next page.
5. Topline numbers for the province. You can see from this column we surveyed 1,477
Saskatchewan voters. 49% are voting for the Saskatchewan party. The column should add up to
98%-102% as a result of rounding. Make sure you are reading the report vertically. In this way you
can read the breakout for Regina, Saskatoon & Rest of Saskatchewan.
6. Poll dates. These are the dates the polls were conducted - not the dates the polls were released.
To see previous reports go to mainstreetresearch.ca/saskatchewan-polls
Not Pictured:
7. On the front page of the report under Methodology you will see how the poll was conducted
(typically IVR) the margin of error for the poll and the regional margins of error.
8. This page has the results for all voters this includes those who are undecided. A separate page
will have results for Decided & Leaning Voters and will be labeled as such.

READING OUR REPORTS


WEIGHTING
When we collect a sample its highly unlikely that it will be representative of the total population.
This is where weighting comes in. For example if 40% of our sample is Male and the Male
population is 50%, we will assign a greater score to Male respondents than to Female respondents
to make up the dierence. Every polling rm weighs their sample in their own way. Our weights
are based on the 2011 Canadian Census, and we identify the weights in our Methodology
statement on the front of every report.
ALL VOTERS vs DECIDED VOTERS ONLY vs DECIDED & LEANING VOTERS
In most if not all reports for Saskatchewan we will identify two sets of numbers: all voters and
leaning & decided voters. In other work, including Manitoba, you will see Decided voters identied
as well.
All Voters - this is exactly what it sounds like. Every response including those voters which are
undecided.
Decided Voters Only - The only dierence is we exclude undecided voters and re-calculate the
percentages.
Decided & Leaning Voters - In addition to voters who have a rm decision, we include voters that
are leaning a certain way.
EXAMPLES
Quito is polled and responds that he is voting for the Saskatchewan Party. He will be included in
all three sets of numbers as supporting the Saskatchewan Party.
David is polled and responds that he is Undecided. A follow-up question is asked, which way is he
leaning? David responds he is leaning towards the NDP. He will be included in two sets of numbers:
he will be included in All Voters as Undecided. He will be included in Decided and Leaning voters
as NDP.
Rebecca is polled and responds she is Undecided. She is asked the follow up: which way is she
leaning? She responds she is still Undecided. She will be included in one set of numbers: All voters
as undecided.
COMPARING OUR WORK TO OTHER POLLING FIRMS
Most other polling rms will report either Decided or Decided & Leaning Numbers. Its important
to make sure you are comparing the right sets of numbers.
MARGINS OF ERROR
Our polls have a true margin of error. They are scientic because the sample is randomly selected.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Q: Do you call cell phones for your polls?
A: Yes! We call cell phones for every poll and this is listed on our methodology statement.
Q: I would like to participate in your polls can you please call me?
A: We select respondents randomly so we cannot specically include you in surveys though there
is always a chance you may be called.
Q: What are the results for my riding?
A: Unless we are commissioned to conduct an independent riding poll we do not release results
by riding. This is because the sample per riding is too small - it would be irresponsible for us to
publish such results. If you live in Saskatoon or Regina you can see a general view of the race in
your city by looking at the regional breakout tables.
Q: Why does your riding poll not match the riding projection from *insert website here*?
A: A riding poll is just that - an independent survey of a riding. Riding projections by poll
aggregators can be useful information in some contexts but they are not polls. In some cases the
results will be roughly the same - in others it wont and thats OK. In our opinion a riding poll is
more accurate than a riding projection and some poll aggregators will take riding polls into
account and adjust their numbers.
Q: How can your poll be accurate if you are only polling *insert number of people here*?
A: It would be impossible to survey everyone in Saskatchewan (nor would we want to). Our
telephone surveys are scientic, by using a random sample of the population we can attach a
margin of error to our results. We have some of the largest sample sizes in the industry. Many other
rms use smaller sample sizes than the ones we use on a local, provincial and national level. We
are comfortable with our standards that have been tested in the real world.
Q: The demographic weighting used is based on a 2011 census, is this still representative of the
population?
A: No, it is likely not in most cases. Although we use the latest census available, we also use our
proprietary weighting which adjusts for the small variances in demographics.
Q: I would like to receive your polls in advance, can you e-mail them to me?
A: Unless you work for a media organization unfortunately not. The best place to read Mainstreet
poll results is the Star Phoenix and Leader Post. You can always check our website to see if a new
poll has been released.
Q: We don't believe your polls, we disagree with them very strongly, are you biased?
A: Yes, we are biased: towards accuracy. In every election we have polled, there have been those
who doubt our results during the election, but none who doubt them on election day.
Q: How do I join the Mainstreet Research team?
A: We are always on the look-out for talented and creative team members. You can send us your
resume and cover letter and we will keep it on le. Resumes can be sent to
careers@mainstreetresearch.ca. If you are a student we oer a paid summer internship every
summer. Please check the jobs board of your university in the fall, we are no longer accepting
applications for Summer 2016.

FOR MEDIA
EMBARGO LIST
We are happy to send journalists of relevant news organization reports under embargo. When
deciding who to accredit for our regional embargo list we consider publication schedule and the
size of the media outlet. Please contact david@mainstreetresearch.ca to be included on our
embargo list.
ATTRIBUTION
Please attribute Mainstreet/Postmedia polls as such (Mainstreet Research for Postmedia,
Mainstreet/Postmedia Poll etc.) and please identify the sponsor of any third party polls that are
released.
INTERVIEW REQUESTS
Quito is happy to chat over the phone or in studio from Toronto/Ottawa about our poll results or
the Saskatchewan election in general. To arrange an interview please e-mail
quito@mainstreetresearch.ca
MARGINS OF ERROR
The Canadian authority on polling, the Market Research Intelligence Association (MRIA) does not
allow non probability polls (opt in online panel) to publish a margin of error. Although many
publish "probability equivalent" margin of error, it is not mathematically correct to do so.
INFOGRAM
We create dynamic graphs in Infogram that can be embedded. These interactive graphs are
dynamic and resize for mobile and tablet. For example our standard graph contains buttons to
display the results only for Saskatoon or Regina. They are branded Mainstreet/Postmedia at the
bottom right hand corner. The Infogram code(s) will be e-mailed out the morning of a release.
SCRIBD
We will host a copy of the report on Scribd shortly after release. You can embed this document so
that readers are able to access the full report. The Scribd code will be e-mailed out on the morning
of a release.
COLOUR CODES
We are often asked for the colour codes we use, please see them below!

WHAT TO EXPECT IN SASKATCHEWAN


WEEKLY RELEASES
We will covering the entire 2016 Saskatchewan Election. By the time you are reading this we will
have already moved into a weekly dialing schedule. Almost all polls will be released in several
parts, issue questions will be selected to compliment work for our media partners at the Star
Phoenix and Leader Post.
Its important to us that we poll the election from beginning to end. While many pundits (including
us) have speculated that outcome of this election could be predetermined, it is one thing to say it
and quite another to act upon it. Punditry aside, we will not prejudge the outcome of the election
and the voters of Saskatchewan. That is why we have committed to poll from the beginning to the
end and several times in between, and why regardless of the movement in horserace we will be
looking at key issues aecting Saskatchewan residents.
PC PARTY
We have been in conversation with the PC Party of Saskatchewan who have expressed that they
wish to be included in our surveys. Earlier this year we included the PC Party in a survey to gauge
their level of support and to determine if they should be included in future polling.
At this time they will not be included in future polls because they did not poll outside the margin
of error. These same standards have been used to determine potential inclusion of the Green Party
of Alberta in our Alberta polls (they have not polled outside the margin and are presently
excluded).
We continue to be open-minded about potentially including the PC Party in future polling. We will
run select test dials during the campaign and some will include the PC Party and we will use a
variety of metrics to assess their future inclusion. While we are understanding of their desire to be
included we have clear standards for including parties and will enforce them.
FINAL POLL
We will release a nal poll in the nal week of the election campaign. Depending on the
circumstances this may replace a weekly dial. We prefer not to release a poll immediately before
Election Day but if there is signicant movement will make a nal release or share a nal release
with our media partners.
We will release a post-mortem following the election to closely analyze the performance of our
polling and the conclusions from this analysis will be incorporated into our future Saskatchewan
work.
QUARTERLY POLLS
Upon the conclusion of the election we will continue to publish public polls in Saskatchewan once
per quarter.

CANADA

ALBERTA

Only Pollster to predict a Liberal Majority.


Most accurate on main party numbers.

First to call the NDP Majority and the most


active pollster of the Alberta Election.

CALGARY FOOTHILLS

SUDBURY

Most Accurate Pollster of Calgary Foothills


- Correctly predicted a Wildrose Victory.

Most Accurate Pollster of the Sudbury by


election, correctly predicted a Liberal win.

Mainstreet is a national public research rm. With 20 years of political experience at all three
levels of government, President and CEO Quito Maggi is a respected commentator on Canadian
public aairs.
Dierentiated by its large sample sizes, Mainstreet Research has provided accurate snapshots of
public opinion, having predicted a majority NDP government in Alberta, a majority Liberal
government in British Columbia and a majority Liberal government in Ontario. Mainstreet has
been the most accurate polling rm in several by elections and the most recent Toronto mayoral
election. Most recently, Mainstreet was the only polling rm to correctly predict a Liberal majority
government in the 2015 federal election.

CONNECT WITH US:

WEBSITE
mainstreetresearch.ca

TWITTER
@MainStResearch

FACEBOOK
fb.com/mainstresearch

2015 Mainstreet Research. All rights reserved

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