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Polling fails to predict Surrey landslide

SURREY (NEWS1130) – What was billed as the tightest race in the Lower Mainland turned into a blow-out.

Linda Hepner won by almost 23,000 votes despite polls last week that showed it was a three-horse race between her, Barinder Rasode, and Doug McCallum.

Hamish Telford with University of the Fraser Valley’s political science department says the biggest problem for pollsters is cellphones, and the fact that many people don’t answer when the number crunchers call.

“Twenty years ago when everybody had a landline, you could call people at home and people would be willing to answer. Now it’s very difficult to get people are home, a lot of people particularly in certain demographics don’t have landlines.”

He adds some people polled never actually visit the ballot box.”When they do get ahold of people and they do compile the results and they may say ‘I’m going to vote this way,’ what they don’t know is, will they actually vote? Trying to factor in the responses versus likely voters, is also a challenge.”

You might remember last year’s provincial election – when advance polls had Adrian Dix and the NDP comfortably ahead just days before the vote.