Stats Watch! Number 2
Hot on the tails of our first entry, here’s number two, courtesy of the Campaign for Marriage.
A new national poll,Â published today, shows thatÂ 70% donâ€™t want marriage to be redefined. It shows that the Government is at odds with the public on this issue.
A majority, 59%, agree with civil partnerships and seven out of ten agreed with the statement â€œMarriage should continue to be defined as a life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a womanâ€.
Over two thirds, 68%, say: â€œMarriage is important to society and should be promoted by the state.â€ And 84% think: â€œAlthough death or divorce may prevent it, children have the best chance in life if raised by their own mother and father in a stable, committed relationship.â€
In the comment above I’ve highlighted the key claims. You can look at the research (conducted by those wonderful people at ComRes)Â yourself and see the raw data.
Let’s go through the claims one by one.
- 70% donâ€™t want marriage to be redefined – Check. 1402 out of 2004 agreed.
- 59%, agree with civil partnerships and seven out of ten agreed with the statement â€œMarriage should continue to be defined as a life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a womanâ€ – Check. 1188 out of 2004 agreed.
- 68%, say: â€œMarriage is important to society and should be promoted by the state – Check. 1357 out of 2004 agreed.
- 84% think: â€œAlthough death or divorce may prevent it, children have the best chance in life if raised by their own mother and father in a stable, committed relationship.â€ – Check. 1687 out of 2004 agreed.
Stats Watch Ranking
The Coalition for Marriage simply reported what the survey results were and did so accurately and without any misunderstanding as to what the data showed.
Okay maybe as far as the stats are concerned but there is some concern about the sampling and the way the questions were framed to produce a result that goes against other polls recently taken. The one in the Telegraph online definitely wouldn’t corroborate those Catholic Voices has produced.Â
So 5 out of 5 ticks? Perhaps a trifle premature.
The only part of that article that has any credibility is the bit about sampling, and even then what they are criticising is ComRes’s sampling and weighting methodology in general and not just this specific poll. On that front they are utterly incorrect – ComRes use the same kind of methodology as most of the leading pollsters, so what the authors criticism basically comes down to (by implication) is that he distrusts all organisations like YouGov, Populus, ICM, MORI and the like who do this kind of survey work day in day out.
That’s it. Give me something of substance (i.e. something more than “Oh, I don’t like the results of this survey so I’ll try and criticise the methodology without actually providing any hard evidence the methodology is in any way flawed”) and we can continue the debate.
Perhaps so. But Andrew Brown points up a little more elegantly the way the questions are asked determine the results.
Catholic campaigners against gay marriage face a tricky balancing actA Catholic Voices poll suggests the gay marriage debate will be won by the side that gets to frame the questions”http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2012/mar/08/catholic-campaigners-against-gay-marriage?newsfeed=true
I think the answers to the various polls do show that the way the question is framed makes a big difference to the outcome.
Yougov consistently show narrow pluralties against same-sex marriage, as do Angus Reid.Â ICM showed a narrow plurality in favour.Â One can conclude, I think, that public opinion is roughly evenly split.
I’m planning to do a piece on this shortly. Might even push it Mike Smithson’s way.