November 22, 2019

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Pollster erred in showing Tories, NDP neck-and-neck

A rookie polling firm that released an uncommissioned provincial election poll on Friday, showing the Manitoba NDP and PC parties almost deadlocked, has since backtracked on that claim.

Converso, a Toronto-based firm which conducted its first poll in Manitoba, said on Sunday it realized there was a weighting issue with its initial results, and released new results on Monday.

The updated results show more of a gap between support levels for each party, with the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba at 35 per cent, the New Democratic Party of Manitoba at 21 per cent, the Manitoba Liberal Party at 12 per cent and the Green Party of Manitoba at eight per cent.

Another 15 per cent of those surveyed said they were undecided, five per cent said they would rather not say and two per cent said they won’t vote at all. Converso said the numbers don’t add up to a total of 100 per cent because of rounding.

In a statement released Monday, Converso’s managing director Carl Mavromichalis said the discrepancy was brought to the attention of political parties, the media and "other stakeholders" as soon as the firm discovered a discrepancy between the survey’s regional and general results.

The error was caused by an over-weighting of responses from northern Manitoba, and the new results are corrected and have been verified by a third party, Mavromichalis said.

"We apologize for the error and recognize the importance of providing Manitobans with an unbiased, independent election survey," he said. "We feel confident that we have now fulfilled our intention."

The poll also broke down results by gender, region and age. If the survey were a representative sample, the margin of error would be three per cent, 19 times out of 20.

caitlyn.gowriluk@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @caitlyngowriluk

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