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  1. #21
    bobbysands81 bobbysands81 is offline

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    How is the "margin of error" in a poll worked out?

    Can anyone desrcibe how a margin of error in polling is worked out?

    You always see it when a poll is published but I was just wondering how they work it out?
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  2. #22
    sondagefaux sondagefaux is offline
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  3. #23
    Gimpanzee Gimpanzee is offline

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    It is based on sample size. The bigger the sample size the less the margin of error. Nothing to do with the polling company or question etc...

    Margin of error - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  4. #24
    jackassparty jackassparty is offline

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  5. #25
    BrianODoherty BrianODoherty is offline

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    Does nobody want bank shareholders votes?

    There are est. 150,000 Irish resident individual shareholders in BOI/AIB, plus spouses, plus family...maybe an average of 10,000 per constituency in total.
    They receive no sympathetic comment during this election--quite the opposite. yet they have been injustly treated by political parties, official institutions, media, etc. (see some details at brianodoherty,ie)
    Its a bit late now, of course, but they could have swung the elction
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  6. #26
    bobbysands81 bobbysands81 is offline

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    Thanks folks, v interesting.
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  7. #27
    rockofcashel rockofcashel is offline
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    just a statistical anomaly Bobby
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  8. #28
    bobbysands81 bobbysands81 is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockofcashel View Post
    just a statistical anomaly Bobby
    Yup... some good links provided there. I didn't know if it was statistical or if it was down to individual company's as to how they calculated their 'margin of error' in any given poll.
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  9. #29
    meriwether meriwether is offline

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    The margin of error means that many polls are effectively meaningless when looked at in isolation.

    However, if a MOE was +/-3%, and six consecutive polls showed you up 2% in each one, then the trend is something one can rely on.
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  10. #30
    meriwether meriwether is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gimpanzee View Post
    It is based on sample size. The bigger the sample size the less the margin of error. Nothing to do with the polling company or question etc...

    Margin of error - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The sample size has to have certain characteristics also however.

    Just picking 1000 people isn't enough.

    You have to have a representative mix of the general population.
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