Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Liars, damned liars and poll-takers

Interesting story in the Register ("ID card backlash: is the poll tax effect kicking in?") about two polls, commissioned by opposing groups, concerning the proposed national ID card in the United Kingdom. Not only are the numbers vastly different between the two polls, but each has oddly divergent numbers within its own study. People who support (or not) the ID cards give quite different answers when asked about individual identity items -

"Most (47 per cent versus 41 per cent) don't want to have to tell the government when they change their address, and 24 per cent strongly oppose revealing it in the first place (So perhaps they'd care to revolt against passports and driving licences? But never mind...)."

the moral of the story is that polls are generally not worth the digital bits used to write the press release about them.

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