• Short Summary

    NATIONAL POLITICAL SURVEYS - SAMPLING OF HOW THE COUNTRY IS LIKELY TO VOTE - HAVE LOOMED LARGER IN THE CURRENT ELECTION CAMPAIGN THAN EVER BEFORE.

  • Description

    NATIONAL POLITICAL SURVEYS - SAMPLING OF HOW THE COUNTRY IS LIKELY TO VOTE - HAVE LOOMED LARGER IN THE CURRENT ELECTION CAMPAIGN THAN EVER BEFORE. NEWSPAPERS HAVE HEADLINED THEIR FINDINGS AND POLITICAL LEADERS USE THEM AS A STUDY OF POSSIBLE VOTING TRENDS. ALL POLLS HAVE PREDICTED THE LABOUR PARTY WOULD BE RETURNED TO POWER WITH A LARGER MAJORITY AFTER THE GENERAL ELECTION ON THURSDAY.

    GREAT BRITAIN HAS 618 POLITICAL CONSTITUENCES. ONE POLL, THE NATIONAL OPINION POLL, CHOSE 100 OF THESE AS ITS BASE AND LISTED THEM IN THE RATIO OF CONSERVATIVE PARTY TO THE LABOUR PARTY VOTES THAT WERE VARIED FROM SAFELY HELD SEATS TO MORE MARGINAL ONES.

    FOR EACH SURVEY, THE POLLSTERS TAKE A DIFFERENT SAMPLES OF 30 VOTERS' NAMES IN EVERY BOROUGH OR COUNTY CONSTITUENCY. THE POLITICAL QUESTIONNAIRE INCLUDES FOUR OR FIVE REGULAR QUESTIONS. IT ASKS VOTERS WHO THEY THINK WILL WIN THE ELECTION, WHETHER THEY ARE SATISFIED OR DISSATISFIED WITH THE GOVERNMENT, WITH THE PRIME MINISTER (MR. WILSON), WITH THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, (MR. EDWARD HEATH) AND HOW THEY ARE GOING TO VOTE.

    THE POLL INTERVIEWERS CAN ONLY GET IN TOUCH WITH THE VOTERS WHOSE NAMES HAVE BEEN MARKED ON THE LISTS FOR THAT PARTICULAR POLL. NO SUBSTITUTES ARE ALLOWED. THE INTERVIEWERS HAVE FOUR OR FIVE DAYS TO CONTACT THEIR VOTERS AND SOMETIMES HAVE TO MAKE NUMEROUS RETURN VISITS TO CONTACT THE PERSON THEY WANT. IN THIS WAY THEY NORMALLY INTERVIEW 85 PER CENT OF THE ELECTORS THEY ARE AFTER.

    TO CHECK THAT THE INTERVIEWERS ARE HANDING IN HONEST RETURNS THE POLL ORGANISERS EMPLOY 12 AREA INSPECTORS.

    ONCE THE QUESTIONNAIRES ARE BACK AT HEADQUARTERS IN LONDON, THEY ARE CHECKED AND COUNTED TO MAKE SURE EACH INTERVIEWER HAS SENT BACK THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF THE WORK. EACH QUESTIONNAIRE IS THEN PUT ON A PUNCH CARD THAT LISTS THE THREE POLITICAL PARTIES (LABOUR, CONSERVATIVE, LIBERAL) IN THE ORDER THE ELECTOR THINKS THEY WILL FINISH OR A "DON'T KNOW" REPLY.

    ONCE CARDS HAVE BEEN PUNCHED, THEY ARE PUT THROUGH AN ELECTRONIC COMPUTER OR COUNTER/SORTER. THIS SORTS AND COUNTS THE ANSWERS AND PRINTS THE RESULTS ON AN OUTPUT SHEET. THE MACHINE TELLS THE NUMBERS OF SUPPORTERS OF THE THREE PARTIES WHO WERE INTERVIEWED AND ALSO GIVES OUT SUCH INFORMATION AS, FOR EXAMPLE, HOW MANY CONSERVATIVES THOUGHT LABOUR WAS GOING TO WIN.

    AN ESTIMATED 3,000 POLLSTERS HAVE BEEN ACTIVE IN BRITAIN DURING THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN. THEIR SURVEYS HAVE SPARKED OFF ONE OF THE FEW POINTS OF STRONG CONTROVERSY DURING THE CAMPAIGN. SOME POLITICIANS AND POLITICAL OBSERVERS HAVE CONTENDED THAT THE POLLS ARE UNRELIABLE, AND THAT THEY TEMPT PEOPLE TO MAKE UP THEIR MINDS HURRIEDLY AND SWAY OTHERS TO BACK THE PARTY LEADING IN THE RESPECTIVE POLLS.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAPZM46A0SOV2PYNU2M3AHC64C
    Media URN:
    VLVAPZM46A0SOV2PYNU2M3AHC64C
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    28/03/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:02:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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