For one more time. Greek pollsters failed to catch the voters’ pulse ahead of general elections on May 21 and did not come even close to the 21% difference between ruling New Democracy and main opposition SYRIZA. In an effort to justify the unjustifiable, that is they “misled clients and the public” they now come out claiming that they received threats by the left-wing party and they were worried that its supporters would criticize them.
Pollsters claim they did detect the trends that led to New Democracy’s triumph over Syriza in Sunday’s elections, but avoided publishing the results because of the “severe criticism” they were subjected to by main opposition Syriza.
Instead, they say, pollsters weighted the results in ways that favored Syriza, for example, by making the assumption that the youth vote would, as in the past, favor Syriza, instead of slightly favoring New Democracy, as surveys conducted after voting indicate.
Last polls by 6 pollster companies
Official results by Interior Ministry
“Pollsters could detect the trend in the unweighted (survey) results; however, because of Syriza’s severe criticism, they avoided publishing the results, instead weighting them in ways favorable to Syriza,” a veteran political analyst told Kathimerini.
Dimitris Mavros, CEO of opinion research firm MRB, speaking to station OPEN TV, said that the data from surveys conducted in the days leading up to the election reflected what, to must people, was the huge surprise of the actual voting results Sunday night.
“The truth is that, when you have been under pressure since 2015…from a certain political party – as happened in September 2015 and the 2019 elections – (claiming) that you underestimate a certain party you (look at the data) and say ‘is this an exaggeration? Have I, once again underestimated?’” Mavros added that the pollsters’ scientific qualifications, methodologies, even ethics came under scrutiny and were the subject of a communications campaign that essentially implied that they were producing bespoke results favoring Syriza’s opponents – namely, New Democracy.
“We tended to shy away from the data because we had PTSD from previous situations (when poll data were disproven by the actual result, notably during the July 2015 referendum on whether to accept EU conditions in return for aid on the country’s debt). “Raw data revealed the actual voting margin. If we (published), do you know what the (reaction) would be? ‘Your samples are trash. Throw them away.’ How could we have responded in the midst of an election campaign?” Mavros said.
Also Stratos Fanaras von Metron Analysis claimed that the pollster company has received “threats by several SYRIZA officials.”
None of them has so far filed a lawsuit against SYRIZA, though, no prosecutor has intervene and there is no respond by SYR to the claims.