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On April 23rd Alberta elected a majority conservative government. One of the main stories to come out of the election was the validity of the polls, considering the majority win by the PC’s. This is the third Canadian election where the polls have been wildly off, last years federal election and the supposed Hudek government in Ontario are the other two.

Polling makes me think of phone surveys which brings me to my point, I think the survey industry needs to change dramatically, relying on phone interviews or even an email survey is well… out of touch.

The ability of the citizen journalist to influence and rally voters is unprecedented, when you combine this with the strategic voting a pollsters needs to be looking beyond the survey to gauge the voters opinion. Pollsters need to be using tools like Radian6 and learning from marketing and social media and listen to see what is being said about the brands (or parties in this case).

So all you survey professionals lets move beyond the “statistically valid” survey and start listening.

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