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Saturday, 7 May 2011

Election Polling Misunderstood

UPND's Charles Kakoma on CPD's presidential opinion poll :
Is the opinion of 1,000 people representative of more than 4,000,000 registered voters? That is a joke and his sampling techniques are questionable and too biased. He has not been to all parts of Zambia. How does he know what the entire voting population is saying?
There are many reasons to question the recent opinion poll but the sample size is not one of them! What he should be asking are things like : what was the question asked? how was it worded? what is the sampling error? how representative was the sample? Was there any selection bias? Have they taken into account the "fear factor"? Zambians who plan to vote for the opposition may be unwilling to disclose their intentions for obvious reasons. This is what Mr Kakoma should be focusing on. Quite clearly UPND are not doing any internal polling otherwise he would have understood the main questions around polling. They are going into this election blind!


  1. Ignoring all of the other important issues that you raise, Kakoma should know that a sample size of 1,000 is actually pretty standard for US polls - and thats for a country of 300,000,000! Here's a link to a list of recent US polls involving just Obama's job approval rating.

    Maybe you should put together a mandatory statistics refresher course for all MP's :)

  2. Charles Kakoma doesn't seem like the brightest bulb in the chandelier. He was also behind the UPND's break off from the PF-UPND pact, for reasons that seem very unclear. On it's own, the UPND doesn't have a chance of winning anything outside of Southern Province. The other parties only need to write off Southern Province and focus on the rest of the country.

    There is the lack of deciviseness of Hakainde Hichilema in distancing himself from those in teh UPND who want to profile their party as THE Southern Party, alienating the rest of the country in the process. Profiling the UPND as the Southern Party is the job of the MMD, and something that should have been avoided by anyone in the UPND at all costs.

  3. It is not only Kakoma who is very ignorant about opinion polls. It seems it is an affliction suffered by most Zambians if comments on both Lusaka Times and the Watchdog are anything to go by. And why do Zambian political parties or politicians always react 'vigorously' to 'opinion' polls? Is there any reason; really why to get worked up about what are essentially 'opinions'? Seriously, Mr Kakoma and his fellow politicians should find better things on which to expend their misdirected energies!

    I honestly expect UPND to do well not only in Southern Province but also in Northwestern Province, in about half the Central Province, and will pick up one or two seats in Western Province. By the way Sata for reasons known to himself rarely campaigns in Northwestern and Western provinces including Southern Province. Someone should tell him that every vote counts. He should have learnt by now that hunting for votes on in familiar provinces like Northern and Luapula provinces will never take him over the line. Why spend a lot of resources and energy in the areas were you are already strong? Naveity I suppose!


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