segunda-feira, abril 23, 2012

The polls in France

The last French polls did well, by comparative standards at least. In 2007, no pollster managed to estimate the vote for the first four candidates with an average absolute error below 2 points. In some cases, like in the CSA last poll, things were even worse, with Sarkozy's vote underestimated by almost 6 points and Le Pen's vote overestimated by more than 6 points. Things went better this time: Hollande and Sarkozy did slightly better than expected, and the major problems came with Le Pen and Mélenchon doing, respectively, better and worse that what the polls were suggesting, but still with deviations that were not so large as the ones that occurred in 2007.

A pollster-by-pollster look suggests that, in most cases, whatever may have been behind the over- or under-estimation of candidates' results was common to all pollsters: Le Pen was consistently underestimated, Mélenchon was consistently overestimated and, with few exceptions, the underestimation of both Hollande and Sarko were also common (and relatively small).

Things continue to look bleak for Sarkozy. In 2007, for the 2nd round results, Sarkozy got a majority of the votes in almost every single poll published since the beginning of the year:

Now, Sarkozy faces the exact opposite situation: he has been behind Hollande in every single poll published since at least February, and the polls conducted yesterday place him behind Hollande at least 6 points.
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