Gaining ground, losing ground…

April 5, 2011

Canada’s Conservatives lose ground in poll

CANADA-POLITICS/TORONTO, April 3 (Reuters) – Canada’s ruling Conservatives lost a bit of ground in an opinion poll released on Sunday, while still remaining in territory that might hand them a majority in Parliament in the May 2 federal election.

The Nanos Research tracking poll of results over three days of surveys put support for the Conservatives at 40.7 percent, down from 41.3 percent in Saturday’s survey. Support for the Liberals fell to 29.4 percent from 30.3 percent.

Your headline reads, “Conservatives lose ground in poll”.

That is an inaccurate statement, and should be removed. A drop in poll numbers overnight from 41.3% to 40.7% is well within the margin of error of the poll, and does not signal any change in support, either up or down.

Do you understand this, and if so, how can you possibly trumpet a headline that Conservative support has fallen – unless, or course, your reporters are HOPING for such a result, and are trying to influence self-fulfilling results.


I agree that the slim shift in polling numbers didn’t justify the phrase “lose ground” in our headline, especially considering the margin of error.

However, it is interesting that one day earlier, when we reported Canada’s Conservatives gain ground in new poll also based on a very small shift, I saw no complaints at all: GBU Editor

Conservative leader and Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper rides an all-terrain vehicle during a campaign stop at a farm in Wainfleet, Ontario April 4, 2011.   REUTERS/Chris Wattie

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