What’ll this do to VI figures?
ICM, which in 1995 became the first UK polling firm to mount political surveys by phone, announced this afternoon that from the March poll for the Guardian about 150 of the 1000 interviews will be achieved via interviews on mobile phones.
This is in response to the decline in proportion on the population who have land-lines and the increasing difficulty reaching young voters particularly young men.
According to research by Ofcom 32% of those in the 18-24 age bracket are only accessible via their personal mobile phone.
It’s believe that this is another first for ICM which has built up a reputation for pioneering polling techniques.
The firm is hoping that this latest move will make its samples more representative and more accurate.
An issue if a pollster cannot find enough people in a particular demographic is that the views of those whom they do manage to talk to have to be scaled up thus increasing the chance of error.
In tests ICM has found that when rung, mobile phones will be less likely to be answered than landlines, but people on mobiles will be more likely to complete an interview if the firm gets through to them. The standard refusal rate for landlines is running at 10.8%. For mobiles the firm is finding that just 3.4% won’t take part.
We’ll be monitoring ICM very closely in the coming months to see if this does make a difference.