It's election season in Quebec, and whenever you say election, you say POLLS! Poll after poll after poll after poll! One recent poll in particular got people talking, for the simple reason that it was the first one that had the Liberal Party in the lead. Now just about none of you are from Quebec, so I'll let you in on a little secret: our provincial Liberal Party is pretty much universally hated. So when that poll came out, people went apeshit, the kind of apeshit you thought was solely reserved for video game arguments. THE POLL WAS RIGGED! THE LIBERALS BOUGHT THE POLLING FIRM! And so on.
Two things in particular stood out about that poll. First, it was done through the internet, not by phone. And there's ever-increasing evidence that internet polls aren't that much less reliable, if at all, than ones done by phone (such as this data from the 2012 US presidential election). Yeah, I was surprised too, I would've thought phone polls would've done better than that, but who am I to argue with cold hard facts? Cold hard facts that clearly aren't enough for many people, by the way.
Second, some regions (namely Montreal's suburbs and Quebec City) were willingly overrepresented, with a much larger sample than in other regions. What people don't know, though, is that polling firms then weight each region according to their population. So if a region has 10% of the population, but 20% of the sample, then each person from that region will only be given half a vote to compensate. It's also worth noting that in the case of this particular poll, other regions had the same sample size as usual, meaning that while most polls stick to the 1000 mark, this one was above 1200. But hey, people don't know that, so CLEARLY THE POLL WAS RIGGED.
The real kicker is that a new poll from a different firm, which came out today, has the Liberals in an even more commanding lead - though THAT poll is a little dubious, thanks to a sample of only 665 people after eliminating undecided voters. Still, putting your head in the sand and denying that the Liberals are in the lead because they're morally bankrupt, only care about themselves, are EVIL FEDERALISTS, yadda yadda yadda, just makes you sound stupid. (It's not like the alternatives are more heroic either, though let's not get into that.) When election day comes, if they win, are you going to complain that people were intimidated in the voting booths or something? Man, I'd pay to see the tears.