Political surveys and online polls have had a bumpy ride since Brexit. But heading into the General Election, the public’s attention is firmly on the polls! Politics can be as unpredictable as the weather but despite that fact, we love to try to predict opinion. Online polls have many benefits, including influencing the decisions made by party leaders, so ignore them at your peril…
Polls can lead to increased insight in this constantly evolving information age. This is true for a number of industries and professionals, including politicians, councils and local government who use the information to make informed decisions. They can all benefit from using questionnaires to gather accurate information, increase visibility and engage constituents to help shape the future.
Political Surveys for feedback on policies
The best way to understand how successful a new idea might be is to test them out. By using political surveys and online polls you can ask questions and gather feedback to gauge which of your ideas may win the most votes or get more support. Online surveys provide you with the opportunity to engage your audience, opening up communications that will later help you understand more about what your constituents wants and needs. Once you have access to a range of contact groups, you can deliver further questionnaires to discover the issues affecting the local area or measure how much support you are receiving.
Get opinions on spending and services
Gathering honest feedback can be difficult, especially if you administer the questions face to face. Allowing people to give feedback anonymously via political surveys could not only increase the response rate but also improve the quality of the feedback. Regular, anonymous feedback can be extremely valuable for gauging priorities to evaluate services and facilities. Measuring the opinions of individuals not only demonstrates that you are interested in their views but gives you statistical justification for a budget.
Nothing is better than proving the success of a campaign or demonstrating how well received one of your campaigns or new policies have been. Sharing the success of communities working together is also invaluable, such as the launch of a new initiative to improve recycling. By using polls, you can get the views of those that matter to show your changes are making a positive impact.
Identify political supporters
Political surveys and online polls are a great way to identify advocates and those that are willing to give feedback. Using online questionnaires for political purposes will allow you to identify people who are supporters and those that oppose opinion. Engaging with your supporter base ensures you can continue to communicate to a group that are more likely to respond and provide relevant feedback.
You can use political surveys for a range of event-related activities. Online questionnaires can increase awareness of your events beforehand and be used to review them afterwards to find out how they went. Useful feedback can be collected to gauge reaction to speeches and understand what your attendees thought of the event.
Accurate instant reaction
Political surveys allow you to anonymously gather feedback and opinion instantly. This ensures you get a prompt understanding and can, therefore, act quickly. Online surveys help to remove the risk of human error as the information is directly inputted by the respondent, this ensures that the results are more accurate.
In the run-up to the General Election, who is gaining or losing in the polls is the subject of most conversations around the coffee machine! Kate Allen at the Financial Times reported on ‘Three essential facts about British election polling’, including modelling for undecided voters, models based on methodology and margins of error. As we all know, ‘It ain't over till the fat lady sings’ and who would want life without political polling?
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2016 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.