Over a year ago, in March 2013, I raised the issue of cellphone users not being polled by the major polling companies, with the exception of Roy Morgan. To polling companies such as Reid Research, UMR, Ipsos, Colmar Brunton, Digipoll, etc, people who rely solely on cellphones are “invisible” when it comes to surveying.
As I wrote on 8 March last year,
“If the numbers of households without a landline are significant (+/- 10%), then polling companies will either have to adjust their polling techniques – or be rendered useless. Without factoring in cellphone-only households, polling companies risk becoming an expensive ‘parlour game’ with little value.”
The importance of this fact was highlighted in last year’s Census, which reported on 3 December 2013 that 14.5% of households did not have access to a landline,
“Access to a landline telephone decreased. In 2013, 85.5 percent of households had access to a landline telephone at home, down from 91.6 percent in 2006.”
I then wrote on 12 December,
“Low income families may not necessarily have credit on their cellphones – but that does not prevent polling companies from phoning in, to cellphone owners. As I blogged on 1 September, when Roy Morgan phoned me on my cellphone (see: Mr Morgan phoned).
The up-shot of this census result is twofold;
As the only pollster to call respondants’ cellphones, Roy Morgan is the most credible polling company and the one to watch.
Expect other polling companies to follow suit and call respondants via their cellphones – or risk being ignored and becoming irrelevant.”
It was therefore amusing to see this TV3 “news” story on 6 July
As the story stated;
The rise of the mobile phone is casting a shadow over the reliability of traditional telephone polling…
In fact, he says it is not just young people who are rejecting landlines. The latest census data shows 86 percent of households have a landline, down from 92 percent in 2006.
And only eight months since I pointed out that the increasing sole-reliance on cellphones in many households made land-line-calling, as a sole means of contacting respondents, somewhat dubious.
Interestingly, TV3 journo, Emma Jolliff – who penned the story – wrote,
“…because there is no directory of mobile phone numbers those people are essentially off the grid to pollsters.”
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Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes
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