terça-feira, maio 01, 2012

France 2nd round polls, May 1st update

There's a petit frisson around Sarkozy "narrowing the gap," and yes, there may be something going on along those lines. But a little perspective: looking at the last two polls of each of the eight pollsters, Holland has declined in just four of them, and by a maximum of two points. The lowest score for Hollande in any poll is 53%, i.e, about what Sarkozy had against Royal at about this point in the campaign in 2007, or what Chirac had against Jospin in 1995. Sarkozy ended up with 53.1% of the vote and Chirac with 52.6%. Having said that, considering his record, it's quite extraordinary that Sarkozy manages to keep this even vaguely competitive. And I can't help thinking about the famous  "shy Tories" phenomenon in the UK 1992 election: could it be that polls are underestimating the rightist vote? French pollsters have a good track record, but that's only if you decide to discount the FN vote. A Socialist candidate as favorite is, as we know, an unusual phenomenon. And a look at the technical reports of the French polls shows quota sampling all over the place, and it's difficult not to be a little freaked out about that.

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