Public polls project

the business of reading our minds

The state of public polls in Canada tells us a lot about the state of public debate about issues in Canada. It also informs our understanding of the nature of the public opinion business.  The on-going analysis of the publicly available polls in Canada is provided by Jenkins Research.

Public opinion polls, whether one likes them or not, are critical ingredients of public discourse.

 

Public Polls Trends: First Half of 2019 Confirms Key Changes in Public Opinion Polls

The first half of 2019 has confirmed the trends from previous years. First, the number of polls in the public domain appears to be rising. Second, online is asserting its dominance as the primary means of collecting public opinion data.

2018 in the Polls | More than Ever

2018 saw a significant rise in the number of publicly released polls in Canada according to the Public Polls Project. Top polling issues were cannabis and trade.

Number of Questions in Average Public Release

On average, each public opinion release in Canada has 10 questions on it.

The Sponsors: Media, Polling Firms and Clients who Pay for Public Polls

An analysis of all publicly released polls in Canada that shows that just over a third of all releases were funded by research firms themselves.

Online is the most Used Survey Mode for Public Polls, but Telephone Matters

Online Reigns but Telephone has not Lost its Relevance Online research has dominated the market research industry for more than a decade so it is not a surprise that it remains the most used tool for those who are conducting research that they plan to release...

Details

Lessons from the Canadian Public Polls Project

Background

Public opinion polls, whether one likes them or not, are critical ingredients of public discourse. There is no arguing that they provide our companies, not-for-profits, and democratic institutions a peek into the minds of Canadians. This in turn helps them affect or respond to social, economic and political events. 

 

Key findings

Polls are ubiquitous. The stats below are somewhat mind boggling. And, these are only the ones that are publicly released. 

It turns out that the Public Polls Project provide a window on the topics that are dominating public discourse and where the public falls. It also shows some interesting facts about the methodologies that polling firms are using (and some of the implications of them)

 

Releases

 

3089

# of Releases Per Month

 

79.2

Questions reported on 

 

25,145

# of questions per release

9.87

Intro

How We Built the Database

In April 2016, I began tracking all of the public opinion polls that were being released in Canada. The result is the Public Polls Project, which is the only systematic review of public opinion in the public domain.

Multiple strategies are used to identify public opinion releases. These include Google searches, a review of press releases on the newswire and by going to the research firm websites.

Each time a survey is identified, the field dates and research firm are compared against existing surveys in the database for duplicates. In some cases, the same survey has more than one release. For example, an omnibus survey might have multiple clients and/ or topics. As such, we separate poll releases from unique surveys.

Process

  • Unique releases of survey results are identified not every mention of public opinion. In the search process, mentions of poll results that do not appear to be a unique release of a survey result are not included.
  • Only surveys of Canadians are included. Surveys of special populations of the public, seniors, women, young people are included. B2B surveys are not included. Surveys of people who are on proprietary lists (e.g. work sites or travel sites) are also excluded.
  • Non-survey methodologies are not included.
  • Government of Canada surveys, which are archived on the internet, are not included unless they garner public attention.

Best efforts are made to identify releases in the correct month. Numbers are updated for previous months if new poll results are identified that correctly should be allocated to those months.

Each unique release is coded based on a number of variables. These include  the topics (specifically and in general categories), the sponsors, the modes of data collection, the sample sizes and other survey characteristics.

From the foundeR

Publicly released polls are part of the business of reading our minds.

Richard Jenkins, Ph.D.