SBC to use polls again after minaret debacle

The Swiss Broadcasting Corp. will lift a ban on publishing poll results from an institute that wildly miscalculated the vote to ban new minarets.

This content was published on April 24, 2010 minutes

SRG SSR idée suisse,’s parent company, and the polling institute gfs.bern said they would take special precautions to avoid the massive miscalculations that predicted a ban on the construction of new minarets would fail by 53 per cent.

Instead, the referendum passed in November 2009 with 57 per cent of the vote.

An external study at Zurich University took an in-depth, independent look into how the predictions could have been so wrong. It says respondents likely offered “socially desired” answers opposite of how they actually voted.

The study also said that media outlets did not make it sufficiently clear often enough that the results of the election were still uncertain.

The media group and gfs.bern said they would watch closely for such behaviour when studying public opinion on other prickly topics in the future. Pollsters would use scientific methods to account for the potential discrepancies.

The next federal vote is expected on September 26 and involves a review of unemployment insurance. and agencies

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