Executive director of Gobal Info Analytics, Mussa Dankwah, has expressed conviction in the outcome of online polls conducted by his outfit.
He revealed that the polls which saw flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, as winner of the 2024 election is credible.
According to him, he has seen a pattern in both online polls and field polls that his outfit has conducted over the last two years. With this, he explained that it has consistently put John Mahama on top from January 2022 and that hasn’t changed even in the online poll.
“Secondly, you also realize that the gap between the online polls averagely, and the field polls is about 20% between Mahama and Dr Bawumia. Thirdly, we’ve also realized that DMB is attracting about 75% of NPP support, Mahama is taking around 10% to 17% of NPP support and Alan is taking around 17%. This has been consistent with the online polls we just did. In fact, we did an online poll yesterday just to see whether there’s a difference between what we are seeing online and what others may have said, and the pattern did not change.”Mussa Dankwah
Furthermore, Mr Dankwah stated that if one looks at the way floating voters are voting, it is consistent also with both online and field survey.
Also, he noted that the way NDC is voting online resonates with that of face-to-face surveys and also those who don’t disclose their party affiliations.
“We are seeing certain pattern consistently and that is what makes us to take some credence in the online poll…”Mussa Dankwah
Relevance of time in polls determining election outcome
Commenting on the relevance of time in polls determining the outcome of an election, Mr Dankwa explained that polling serves different purposes.
To this end, he highlighted that there are those who just want to see whether they have the correct outcome, and there are those who want to use the polls as a measure for tracking their performance and see how they are faring.
Owing to this, he revealed that if a pollster waits to conduct the polls six months to an election, it’ll be too late.
“So, for us, the tracking give you better [results] because you are able to see the trend. With the single polling period, there could be statistical challenges that could disturb the polls and you may not get it accurate but if you do it consistently over a period of time, the trend then gets established then you can do predictions accurately.”Mussa Dankwah
Moreover, the executive director of Global InfoAnalytics underscored an important criterion in successfully carrying out polls. He stated that the questionnaire must include questions that explores whether voters are changing their minds, are likely to or are exposed to changing their mind.
“Now, for those who are firm in their decisions, you could know. For example, those who are unlikely or very likely to change their minds you can tell they are about 80% which means as a political party, you have room in only 20%. If you have that situation at hand, then you might be in big trouble because the 20% will not be enough for you to change minds and for you to win elections if you are so far behind.”Mussa Dankwah
On his part, political pollster, Ben Ephson, emphasized that polls conducted in the last six months to voting provides 80%-85% accuracy.
He however highlighted that for the past three years he has avoided commenting on anybody’s polls because the results will determine the credibility of polls undertaken by others.
Moreover, Mr Ephson stated that he has a problem with online polls, questioning whether the percentage of persons who vote online is representative of the masses.
“For polls ahead of time, the ruling party has not had elections for their incumbent MPs. When that happens and there’s a problem, in seats that are swing seats, if there are problems with the election of the parliamentary candidates, when there’s division and a defeated incumbent decides to go independent, it has an impact on the party’s chances.”Ben Ephson