SDM lead Pulse by 13 points

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SDM enjoy a massive 13 point lead over Pulse, a poll of 242 university students conducted by Insite shows. Answering the question “If the election was tomorrow, who would you vote for?”, 25% of students said they would vote for SDM, while only 11% said they would vote for Pulse. 46% of all students interviewed indicated that they simply wouldn’t vote, while nearly 18% said they would be casting a mixed ballot.

Stacked bar plot showing the percentage of respondents who answered the question "If the election was tomorrow would you vote for:"

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Stacked bar plot showing the percentage of respondents who answered the question "If the election was tomorrow would you vote for:"

Pulse’s decision not to contest in the 2016 elections seems to have had little effect on its voter base. In the 2015 election for instance, SDM won 68.3% of the block votes, while in Insite’s poll, the proportion of block votes won by SDM if the election were tomorrow would be 68.9%. That number in 2014 was 60.5%.

The proportion of mixed votes is more susceptible to fluctuation; it was 25.5% in 2015 and 20.6% in 2014, however one possibility that the number captured by the poll remains below that is due to the fact that voters might want to know the candidates before deciding to mix the vote. Think of it this way; an SDM voter is more likely to mix his vote if he’s acquainted with a Pulse candidate in his course for instance.

It’s important to note that turnout for KSU elections hovers around the 30% mark. While our numbers indicate that close to 54% of students interviewed would vote, this is not the whole story. Participants were asked to indicate how likely they were to vote on a 7 point Likert scale, ranging from not very likely (1), to very likely (7).

A histogram showing the frequency of participants along a 7 point Likert scale asking them how likely they are to vote. 94 participants for instance are not very likely to vote.

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A histogram showing the frequency of participants along a 7 point Likert scale asking them how likely they are to vote. 94 participants for instance are not very likely to vote.

Assuming that a score below 4 was the cut-off point for not voting, and anything above a score of 4 indicated a good probability of voting, the estimated turnout right now stands at 36%. This number is arrived at after calculating the sum of bins 4,5,6 and 7, which amounts to 88 participants; and 88 participants of 242 are 36%. This number is probably still a few points too high – likely factors like social desirability bias – where participants deem it to be more socially desirable to be thought of as active and involved, probably bump that number up by a couple of points.

Frequency table for how likely participants are to vote. 36% of participants indicated that they were probably to very likely to vote (ranged 4 to 7).

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Frequency table for how likely participants are to vote. 36% of participants indicated that they were probably to very likely to vote (ranged 4 to 7).

This is just the beginning of Insite’s analysis; later on today we should have an article up on the methodology and limitations of the poll. Over the rest of the week, we’ll also be posting more intensive analysis – so stay tuned. Lastly, an extremely gracious thanks goes out to all the students who took part in our poll. We couldn’t have of done it without you!

Written by

Charles Mercieca

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SDM lead Pulse by 13 points

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