Each week, the French have the right to a new survey of the primary right and center, which will be played on 20 and 27 November. The latest, conducted by Ifop and published by the Journal du Dimanche , gives Alain Juppé in the lead with 37% of the vote against 31% for Nicolas Sarkozy. But last week, a TNS Sofres poll gave him the former Prime Minister on par with the former president. Can we trust these polls? Europre 1 conducted the survey, and this is not so sure.
Finding the gem … This is a shame: the pollsters themselves seem to ask the question of the relevance of their polls. “It almost looking for a needle in a haystack,” said one of them. For him as its competitors are obliged to interview thousands of people to find the gem, one that is certain to vote in the primary. But right now, it’s less than one voter in ten. Therefore, to find a thousand participants in the primary, you have to interview ten thousand.
“It is absolutely mandatory to have to have a successful outcome to form very large samples,” admits Frederic Dabi, deputy director of Ifop, contacted by Europe 1. “For institutions, this are more expensive than just survey of surveys for presidential vote. ”
… For a very significant cost . These surveys therefore take time, but also cost a lot of money: between 10,000 and 20,000 euros each. Consequence: the national media are reluctant to pay such a sum for a photo of the opinion that will be very fleeting. Pollsters then questioned three times fewer people, for both cost three times cheaper. The polls are no longer on a sample of 300 people, which thickens considerably the margin of error of plus or minus 5%. An example: in the latest poll by Ifop, Bruno Le Maire is 13% while Francois Fillon reached 10%. But this margin of error, the opposite is also possible.
And the popularity polls? In these circumstances, the temptation could then be to fall back on opinion polls. But this is absolutely not the same thing! The popularity is a matter of “like”, “I do not like” this or that policy while voting intention regarding the person for whom you vote. In 2012, Nicolas Sarkozy is unpopular but it is able to meet 48% of votes in the second round. Instead, Francois Bayrou is ranked among the favorite personalities of the French but the account is not there in terms of voting intention.
The “secret” polls candidates. to the right Tenors are not just made public polls, they manage to sound out the opinions much more discreetly. Each week, nearly 2,000 people are interviewed by a large polling institute that holds the secret study. Who are the respondents? The French following the political events that are of right-wing voters overwhelmingly. The figures are confidential but the trends are communicated to the candidates. “It works well this week among young people”, can be heard in a campaign team. These studies are not funded by the candidates but by the polling institute itself. Why ? To exercise a lobbying and hope for a lift back if the right wins in May.