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Polling pedants

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bungeejumper
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Polling pedants

#54906

Postby bungeejumper » May 19th, 2017, 11:36 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-39965925

"In the 2015 general election, the gap between old voters and young voters was massive. Just 43% of 18-24-year-olds went to the polls, compared with 78% of people aged 65 or over, according to Ipsos Mori. That's a huge gap of 35%."

35% seems to me to be understating it a bit. On this reckoning, as far as the proportions actually turning up at the polls were concerned, there was an 81.4% greater likelihood of the oldies getting round to it.

So whose logic is wrong, mine or the BBC's?

BJ

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Polling pedants

#54913

Postby UncleEbenezer » May 19th, 2017, 11:57 am

bungeejumper wrote:So whose logic is wrong, mine or the BBC's?

BJ

Yours. But the fault isn't in your numbers, it's in failing to notice that both numbers are correct in their own terms. You are implying a question that was not explicitly asked, but which could be formulated in different ways leading to either result.

swill453
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Re: Polling pedants

#54925

Postby swill453 » May 19th, 2017, 12:15 pm

You also didn't quote the bit that said "To estimate how many old and young people vote at elections, you have to look at opinion polls".

And we all know how accurate they are :-)

I could postulate that 18-24-year-olds are more likely to lie in polls than the over 65s, and claim the figures back up my theory.

Scott.

bungeejumper
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Re: Polling pedants

#54940

Postby bungeejumper » May 19th, 2017, 12:59 pm

Thank you both, and duly recced.

As a professional idiot at maths (I got a scrape O level pass, but hey, it did the job for university), I often fall for statistical elephant traps like these. But I sometimes have to present statistical materials, and my normal inclination would have been to get round it by saying:

"Just 43% of 18-24-year-olds went to the polls, compared with 78% of people aged 65 or over, according to Ipsos Mori. That's a huge gap of 35 percentage points." Would that have been correct, I wonder?

BJ

PinkDalek
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Re: Polling pedants

#54942

Postby PinkDalek » May 19th, 2017, 1:01 pm

As the BBC article is silent on Postal Voting, I could postulate that, although Polls suggest "43% of 18-24-year-olds went to the polls", the remaining 57% may have availed themselves of the Postal Voting option.

I'd also query the meaning of "The old aren't voting more now - but the young are voting far less.". Is the journalist suggesting that the "old" used to indulge in voting sculduggery?

gryffron
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Re: Polling pedants

#56411

Postby gryffron » May 28th, 2017, 9:30 am

If you want to demonstrate that the gap is small, you correctly call it 35%.
If you want to demonstrate that the gap is large, you correctly call it 81%.

Both are perfectly correct. And hence why statistics are such a wonderful tool to make absolutely any point you want to make. "How to lie with statistics". There's a whole book on the subject, well worth a read. https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Lie-Statis ... 0140136290

Gryff

GoSeigen
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Re: Polling pedants

#56544

Postby GoSeigen » May 29th, 2017, 10:14 am

gryffron wrote: And hence why statistics are...

Gryff


" Hence statistics are..." or "That's why statistics are..."

GS

stewamax
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Re: Polling pedants

#58430

Postby stewamax » June 7th, 2017, 5:25 pm

Just 43% of 18-24-year-olds went to the polls, compared with 78% of people aged 65 or over, according to Ipsos Mori.

Indeed; perhaps the over-65s are just being prepared: ipsos mori means "they die".

genou
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Re: Polling pedants

#58436

Postby genou » June 7th, 2017, 6:11 pm

stewamax wrote:
Just 43% of 18-24-year-olds went to the polls, compared with 78% of people aged 65 or over, according to Ipsos Mori.

Indeed; perhaps the over-65s are just being prepared: ipsos mori means "they die".


For values of translation derived from Google. It's junk Latin and a coincidence - there once were two companies - IPSOS and Mori, and they merged -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipsos_MORI


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