23 September, 2020

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Astrologers Got It Wrong Last Time, Pollsters Get It Wrong This Time

By Niranjan Rambukwella

Polls often measure perception rather than behavior. This is one reason they often fail spectacularly in predicting electoral outcomes.

Election surveys at best imperfectly measure differences in turnout between voter segments. First, because some amateur polls don’t factor in turnout at all. Second, because even professional polls can only measure voters’ stated intention. Voters often say that they plan on voting but then don’t. There are two reason for this. First, they are ashamed of telling pollsters that they are not voting. Two, they are usually over optimistic of their commitment to voting.

Mahinda TirupathiTurning to our current situation. In this election poor UPFA base turnout and high UNP base turnout means that all polls, which primarily measure voter perception rather than behavior, are biased in the UPFA’s favour.

For example, imagine the Colombo District has 100 voters. Suppose I conduct a survey and find that 50 voters support the UNP and 50 voters support the UPFA. This does not mean that the UNP and UPFA will each get fifty votes. Suppose 80 percent of UNP voters actually vote in the election, while only 50 percent of SLFP voters do. That means that 40 votes will be cast for the UNP and only 25 will be cast for the UPFA.

While overall voter turnout in Sri Lanka is high, making the effect of differences in party base turnout levels less significant, this election is likely to be different.

First, turnout is likely to be less than he circa seventy percent average of the past two decades. Effective implementation of election law has put a dampener on campaigning. Also voters are likely to be suffering from election fatigue after the dramatic election less than eight months ago.

Second, both UPFA and UNP turnout are likely to vary significantly from historical averages. UPFA voters are confused due to party infighting. Confusion is one of the primary causes of demotivation and thus low turnout. They also know that they will not be able to form a government and have access to the government gravy train.

UNP voters on the other hand are on the verge of being in power properly for the first time in twenty years. This in itself has energized the grassroots campaign. The UNP also dangles the promise of access to state patronage. The incumbency advantage and the bandwagon effect of the UNP winning streak will be the icing on the cake.

Finally, according to a number of polls, about 10 to 20 percent of the public remains undecided. This figure almost certainly shifted in the UNP’s favour after the President’s letter to Mahinda Rajapaksa. In addition, the swing is in the UNPs favour which means that the UNP is likely to get a last minute surge.

Therefore, assuming that polls are accurately assessing perception at around 105 UNP seats, it would not be unreasonable to expect the UNP to actually get closer to 110 seats and perhaps even an outright majority in combination with the SLMC.

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Latest comments

  • 12
    4

    Niranjan Rambukwella

    “Turning to our current situation. In this election poor UPFA base turnout and high UNP base turnout means that all polls, which primarily measure voter perception rather than behavior, are biased in the UPFA’s favour.”

    UPFA Voters do not have the enthusiasm to vote for Mahinda Rajapaksa and his crooks.

    MaRa MaRa Chatu MaRa
    MaRa MaRa Amana MaRa
    MaRa MaRa HoRa MaRa
    MaRa MaRa Dhushana MaRa

    MaRa MaRa Now Rejects Astrologers and the Astrologers Reject MaRa MaRa.

    So they they will stay home or like an ex-spouse will vote the other side.

    Besides, CBK is saying:

    Vote for any animal but not betel leaf: CBK
    2015-08-13 10:20:54

    http://www.dailymirror.lk/83353/animal-but-not-betel-leaf-cbk

    Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike said the people could vote for any animal and not for the betel leaf symbol or the hand symbol at the forthcoming general elections if they wanted to save the country from corrupt individuals.

    Addressing several public meetings in Embilipitiya and the Eheliyagoda towns the former President said the UNP, the Hela Urumaya, a faction of the SLFP and the Leftist parties had joined hands on January 8 to bring about a change and to form a national government.

    The JVP was not directly involved in the campaign but it supported.

    “Again the main constituent parties of the national government are contesting the general elections to take forward the policy of national government.
    “Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka’s Democratic Party is contesting the election in the hope of winning as a separate group. However, he will support the national government that would be formed after the election.

    “The corrupt rule should be wiped out and a new system of government without political differences should be formed. It is the duty of the people to support forces that have undertaken to move forward that object.

    “On the other hand, my party has fallen prey to robbers. The situation is beyond the control of President Maithripala Sirisena, even though he is the Chairman.
    “The corrupt individuals cannot be expected to lead the country along the right path. The Citizen’s Force is not affiliated to any political party. A vote for the UNP is not a vote for a political party but for a movement that could build the country. Now democracy in the country has been restored and we can chase away the corrupt representatives,” she said. (Ajithlal Shantha Udaya)

    • 1
      1

      Please CT, save us from this imbecile’s bleeding “opinion”.
      Send him for an IQ test and a mental health checkup.

      Don’t let Islamist garbage abuse this website.

    • 0
      2

      lost your mind mate? couldn’t accept the fact that hora Pm ranil is going to lose a 30th time?

  • 15
    2

    The JVP will be the big gainer in this election and will eat into the SLFP vote.

    But civil society must focus on GOOD GOVERNANCE and a Chapter in the Constitution of Sri Lanka for political party reform after the elections, to clean out the political parties which are the root cause for the rotten and corrupt political culture in Sri Lanka today, where racism and corruption have reigned with impunity.

    Political parties need GOOD GOVERNANCE and there needs to be a Chapter on Political Parities in the Constitution – as in several other countries, so that political parties and culture may be reformed. Politicians crossing the floor for cabinet posts and perks must end. Today political parties have become virtual dictatorship ruled by geriatrics who will not had over to the next generation. Look at shameless Vasudeva Nanayakkara and dead leftists. So too Sambanthan in TNA and Rajapaksa has turned the SLFP into a one family party of corrupt thugs and cronies. Ranil is virtual dictator of UNP. There needs to be Chapter on GOOD GOVERNANCE in political parties including one third representation for women. Leadership change after 2 election defeats, and handing over and grooming younger generation of party leadership etc.

  • 10
    5

    This bugger, Medamulana Meeharaka, has a penchant to sniff. He does this as a source of bad habit! Keep on sniffing after the general elections.

    • 0
      2

      still he is better than batalanda mineemaruwa, and millenium city desha drohiya, isn’t it?

  • 13
    6

    I suggest all hospitals country wide especially of Kurunagala, Hambanthotta and Mattara be ready with their Emergency Treatment Units in red alert in order take up the weave of blues with Myocardium-Infarction due to stress of huge change…….. by the morning 18th August 201
    Colombo District as well not excluded red alert!!

  • 3
    4

    In the absence of statistically quantifiable polls, any computation is only as good as the astrological forecast. Wait until the results are announced to guess the outcome.

    • 5
      0

      Well..You wouldn’t have to ‘guess’ the outcome after the results are announced. So that was a waste of a comment.

  • 14
    5

    Who gets is right or wrong the masses are enthusiastically awaiting to cast their votes in favour of UNP with a majority and defeat the Mahinda & co for good.

    • 2
      1

      dcn

      “Who gets is right or wrong the masses are enthusiastically awaiting to cast their votes in favour of UNP with a majority and defeat the Mahinda & co for good.”

      Now you are talking like the great Astrologer (sāṁvatsara, jyotiṣika, daivajña, gaṇaka, mauhūrtika, mauhūrta, jñāni, and kārtāntika) Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena.

      Thanks for your predictions anyway.

  • 5
    1

    Looks like the bugger is walking into that cave. Wish the cave doors closed after him. ……Permanently.

  • 6
    2

    The advantage the UNP has is that people have had the UPFA for over 10 years and the peole want a change. This is human psychology. It maybe “changing pillows for a headache” but Change is what the masses want. And this mentality will help the UNP.The masses have tested the SLFP and the UPFA for the last 17 years and they want to give the UNP a chance to see if they could do better. Remember 1977 when the people rejected the Sirimavo Govt and swept JR into power it is a similar situation but however its unlikely that the UNP will get a 2/3 majority. Further compared to 1977 the people are much more literate and dont get fooled and now crave for Good Governance free of corruption and they may hope the UNP will provide the answer.

    • 1
      1

      People had the change for eight months and thats more than enough and are now fed up with it. Ranil wickremasinhe knows only one way to rule the country,he wants to privatize every thing,including the treasury, and let his friends make mega bucks while he enjoys perks of power. That is what he did in the past and that is exactly what he plans to do now.
      I don’t know how these people expect good governence from a sucker like Ranil Wickremasinghe who sucks to west and its no secret.

  • 7
    4

    “Therefore, assuming that polls are accurately assessing perception at around 105 UNP seats, it would not be unreasonable to expect the UNP to actually get closer to 110 seats and perhaps even an outright majority in combination with the SLMC”.

    This may be so, reading a recognised Psephologist N. Rahman (one who studies election trends) had this to say, on 6.8.15, elsewhere:-

    “MR is no longer in power and does not have recourse to the vast and unlimited resources he enjoyed (unleashed) at the January election.
    • The UNF propaganda blitz has had some effect on discrediting MR’s team on the issue of corruption and oppression.
    • The floating vote, true to its tendency, will move away from MR’s team.
    • The proliferation of parties/independents will eat into some of his earlier vote base. (The effect on the UNF will be less)
    • This time MR is running only in ONE District and a large percentage of the voters in the other Districts will be influenced by parochial issues and the popularity/unpopularity of the individual candidates.
    • MR’s team is still selling the War and Ethnic Issues – this did not work on January 8th – there is no reason why it should work on 17th August.
    • The presence of Champika R/Atureliya etc on the UNF Ticket is bound to draw away some of the Sinhala Buddhist base away from the UPFA.
    • The UPFA is a House divided against itself.
    • There is a very strong likelihood of a lower UPFA voter turnout.
    • Voters do not buy the story : “We will correct our mistakes”
    • Nor do they buy “We will do now what we did not do in the last ten years.
    • There is no logical reason why the voters who rejected MR at his strongest point should now do an about turn and vote for him now.

    Finally there always is a tendency against long incumbency – (The UNF does not have this disadvantage at the moment)
    The resulting position will then be (+/-):
    UPFA 74
    TNA 15
    JVP 15
    Misc 6 TNA/JVP/SLMC/ACMC/Others
    UNF 115

    The SLMC and the ACMC which are contesting on their own tickets in the Vanni and Batticaloa are likely to add a seat or two to the UNF alliance.

    To all this must be factored in the statistically unquantifiable element that favours the winning side. For example no analysis in 1977 predicted more than 120 seats for the UNP, but they went on to win 144 seats. Similarly at the last election in the UK all polls predicted a hung Parliament with the Conservative having a slight edge – but they won by a landslide “

  • 2
    1

    What ever both general secateries have no power.
    Incubent President Serisena should
    Done is soon as the he become chairman he should appoint
    New seceatries then we would had clean SLFP and clear all
    Thugries out of party.people definetly
    Vote now we have big rouge gang having black money.

  • 0
    1

    This must be the most illogical “analysis” ever appearing in CT or is it just the abominably poor ability to convey what he wishes to on the part of the author.
    CT: PLEASE edit/proof-read material before it is published.

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