"Fishy" Polls

The support claimed is far higher than the actual support and in the place where it really maters, Hobart, the support is far below the statewide average.
— Dr Kevin Bonham, UTAS

The MWCC relies on two polls to claim that "Tasmanian Sentiment" is 80% in favour of their proposal.

The two polls were conducted in 2013 and a lot has happened since then.

The MWCC result is a hash of the results of two polls by two different research companies. That hashed support is "conditional"*. What are the "conditions"? The entire list of conditions is not shown, but conditions "such as" that the project would be privately funded, start in South Hobart or Lenah Valley, place the pinnacle centre below the summit, provide free public facilities at The Pinnacle, minimise visual impact, and keep the road open are mentioned. As these conditions cannot all be met, the validity of the 80% approval rating is constrained.

The earlier polling the MWCC relied upon has been discredited by professional pollsters who analysed the polls and conclude that they were unsatisfactory, biased or give results that do not support the conclusions drawn from them by the MWCC.

Of the three polls relied upon by the MWCC, Dr Kevin Bonham of UTAS argues, one used a one-sided preamble that was "likely to skew results". One was an opt-in survey, not a poll. The third, more rigorous, demonstrated substantial opposition.

"I'll start with the fishy 2009 poll because it is another good example of the kind of dubious evidence concerning public opinion that has been present in the debate to date. The survey is under the heading "Independent Poll Results" but it was funded by a project proponent. The result of the poll was: 50% strongly support ... but only after respondents' brains had first been marinated in a preamble written at the behest of the commissioning source."

The second poll was an opt-in. Such polling breaks almost every rule of rigour. It is not random, it is not comprehensive nor is it targeted. 

The third poll - the first to examine the issue credibly - showed statewide figures of 59% support 24% opposition. The poll shows support in all electorates, but opinion is most divided in Denison. Modelling  suggests that within the crucial Hobart municipal area, public sentiment on the proposal is likely to be very closely divided. On this basis, it will continue to encounter significant opposition in the area in which it is to be built.

The most recent poll (ReachTel, April 2018) was commissioned by ROCC. It found that 60% of Hobartians either opposed the cable car or were unconvinced of its merits. The MWCC countered that that poll did not survey the eastern shore or Kingston, let alone the rest of the state. Dr Bonham cautioned against the result because its answers were likely to have been affected by the poll's preamble, which made several criticisms of the cableway.

Dr Bonham's FULL ANALYSIS

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