Globe and Mail Online Poll on Census

Yesterday a CCPA board member alerted my Exec Director that the Globe and Mail poll for the day was on the Census, noting that, very early in the day, the poll was running 2 votes yes for every vote no. The polling question:

Do you think the long-form census questionnaire is an intrusion on the privacy of Canadians?

It’s a provocative question. My guess is most people don’t know what questions are even on the long-form, or that – statistically speaking – the average person would fill out the form once every 25 years. Our privacy is intruded upon more regularly by facebook, marketers, and unpleasant members of the extended family. Whatevs.

By the time I got to it, mid morning, the polls stood at 47% yes, 53% no.

By the afternoon, the polls were 31% yes, 69% no, based on over 13,000 votes. (Hey that’s better than some Stats Can survey sample sizes! which reinforces the fact that when you grow the sample you don’t necessarily get closer to the “truth”, until the numbers start getting closer to the whole population. Law Of Large Numbers.)

I’m not sure if they’ve done this before, but the Globe had the same poll online this morning.

At 7 a.m. 53% said yes, and 47% no. 24,346 people had voted.

If, by day’s end, the polls are reversed again, it will have told us little about how people really feel, should they know what is really being asked of them. But it may suggest that more people who don’t want to answer Census questions are up and on their computers in the middle of the night.

Stay tuned.


  • Maybe it means there are more Conservative partisans in the west and more partisans from the opposition parties in the east.

  • Armine Yalnizyan

    terrific point.

  • Since the sun rises in the east, eastern Canadians presumably start voting before western Canadians. The poll reportedly started out pro-Conservative/anti-census and then reversed over the course of the day. If your theory is that western Canadians are more pro-Conservative/anti-census, that should have produced the opposite pattern.

  • When I went to bed last night, the NO vote was running over 11,000 in a 70 – 30 split.
    Since then over 8,000 people suddenly felt moved to get up in the middle of the night to vote YES? Really?

  • Armine Yalnizyan

    Re Erin’s correction: Insert sound of forehead slapping.
    Latest poll results, 11;50 a.m. 26,856 votes, split 51% yes, 49% no.
    The swing proceedeth.

  • The poll’s being freeped. Globe polls normally get maybe 1000 to 2000 people voting in them. Any time a poll gets well over that average, that means certain groups with a vested interest in whatever the issue is, are promoting it on blogs and whatnot to get supporters to freep the poll.

  • Jeff Simpson had a fairly good article in the Globe today, one of the more critical I might add, (he even topped me). I was amazed at how he moved the focal point away from Clement and laid it squarely on Harper being dictatorial and throwing his hard core constituents a nice juicy bone.

    I hope this will help lift the reform curtains that Harper has been hiding behind. Suddenly the emperor does have clothes! And I hope everybody has a real good look at what a Harper majority would bring.

  • Armine Yalnizyan

    As the sweltering nation heads towards the dinner hour, some 28,233 Canadians have voted. The country — well at least these voters — remains divided on this definitely unscientific and emotional question. At 5 p.m. 52% yes, the Census long-form questionnaire was an intrusion on their privacy, 49% no. I wonder how many of them have looked at it.

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