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Thread: Irish Times misinterprets own poll

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    Default Irish Times misinterprets own poll

    From today's front page:

    New government will not help economy - poll
    "a majority does not think an alternative government would do any better": The Irish Times - Sat, Oct 02, 2010

    However, data in response to the question give quite a different story.

    The question: "If there were to be a change in government do you think that a new government would improve, have no impact, or worsen our economic situation?"

    - Improve: 39%
    - Have no impact: 45%
    - Worsen: 6%

    I take this to mean voters feel a change in government would improve as opposed to worsen our economy by a factor of almost 5 to 1.

    Or using the same logic in the quotation but in the other direction, 84% of voters feel a change in government would not worsen the economy.

    Why such a ludicrous misrepresentation of the findings of their own poll?

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    Politics.ie Member Bobert's Avatar
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    Because the majority said it would make no difference?
    Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are, and those few dare not oppose themselves to the opinion of the many, who have the majesty of the state to defend them.

    - Niccolò Machiavelli

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    Sorry mate,

    the way I read that 51% think that a new government would have no impact or worsen our economic situation

    think the headline is accurate
    I am Kilrain of the 20th Maine and I damn all gentlemen
    Whose only worth is their father's name and the sweat of a workin' man

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    Politics.ie Member edifice.'s Avatar
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    Reminds me of their Lisbon Polls; If the Lisbon Treaty was changed to accommodate your objections to it would you support it? Headline: Majority Support Lisbon Treaty.
    All great truths begin as blasphemies!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pujols View Post
    Sorry mate,

    the way I read that 51% think that a new government would have no impact or worsen our economic situation

    think the headline is accurate
    Nope, that's the headline on page 7. The OP refers to the front page headline which states: "New government will not help economy - poll". An entirely different proposition.

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    If 51%, a majority, think that a new government would have no impact (45%) or make it worse (6%), then I think the headline "New government will not help economy" is fair enough.

    Don't see the conspiracy here to be honest.
    I am Kilrain of the 20th Maine and I damn all gentlemen
    Whose only worth is their father's name and the sweat of a workin' man

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    Politics.ie Member evercloserunion's Avatar
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    I think the headline corresponds with the findings of the poll, and don't see where the OP is coming from. Note that the headline doesn't say anything about a new government worsening the situation.

    My only objection would be that saying "New government will not help economy - poll" when in fact a majority of only 1% actually said that is disingenuous.
    To live honestly, to hurt no one, to give every one his due.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McDave View Post
    From today's front page:

    New government will not help economy - poll
    "a majority does not think an alternative government would do any better": The Irish Times - Sat, Oct 02, 2010

    However, data in response to the question give quite a different story.

    The question: "If there were to be a change in government do you think that a new government would improve, have no impact, or worsen our economic situation?"

    - Improve: 39%
    - Have no impact: 45%
    - Worsen: 6%

    I take this to mean voters feel a change in government would improve as opposed to worsen our economy by a factor of almost 5 to 1.

    Or using the same logic in the quotation but in the other direction, 84% of voters feel a change in government would not worsen the economy.

    Why such a ludicrous misrepresentation of the findings of their own poll?

    What are you on about? 51% say a new government would worsen, or not improve our situation, while 39% say it would.

    Are you innumerate?


    (Helpful hint: 51 is a bigger number than 39.)

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    Politics.ie Member LiberalFG's Avatar
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    It probably won't make much of a difference at this stage but I, and I suspect most of the respondents, want the people who have caused this mess the ************************ out of office.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odyessus View Post
    What are you on about? 51% say a new government would worsen, or not improve our situation
    ...and 84% say it would make no difference or improve the situation. 84 is bigger than 51

    Lies damned lies and statistics I suppose. Both interpretations are valid up to a point. It just depends how you want to spin it. In that respect this thread is useful as it is a fairly clear example of how the media can twist and spin headlines and interpretations of events to suit a pre-defined agenda. All media everywhere in the world has pre-defined agendas and spins the news to give it a particular slant.

    Far too many people are unaware of this media propensity for spin and just swallow what they are told at face value. They are under some delusion that the media is there to impartially report the bare facts. If this recession does nothing else, if it slaps a few people upside the head and convinces them to pay attention in future it'll be worth it in the end.

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