Greek sociologists failed to predict the results of the May 21 general election and did not even come close in their research to the difference of 21% between the ruling New Democracy and the main opposition SYRIZA. What is the problem?
In an attempt to justify the unfounded, i.e. “misleading customers and the public”, poll companies are now making claims that they there were threats from the leftist party, and they were afraid that its supporters would criticize them.
Such sociological studies were issued by public survey companies before the elections on May 21, 2023
The pollsters say they identified the trends that led to New Democracy’s victory over SYRIZA in Sunday’s elections, but did not release the results due to “heavy criticism” they received from SYRIZA’s mainstream opposition. Instead, they say, pollsters have weighted the results to, for example, favor SYRIZA, assuming that young people will, as in the past, vote for SYRIZA rather than slightly favor New Democracy, as post-vote polls show.
Official election results from the Hellenic Ministry of the Interior
“The polling companies may have detected a trend in the unweighted results (polls), however, due to the harsh criticism of SYRIZA, they allegedly avoided publishing the results, instead biasing them in favor of SYRIZA,” said Kathimerini, a veteran political analyst.
Dimitris Mavros, CEO of public opinion research company MRB, in an interview with a TV channel OPEN TV said polling data from the days leading up to the election reflected what many people thought was a huge surprise of Sunday night’s actual voting results.
“The truth is that when you’ve been under pressure since 2015… from a certain political party, as happened in September 2015 and in the 2019 elections, (claiming) that you underestimate a certain party, you (look at data) and say, “Is this an exaggeration? Did I underestimate again?” Mavros added that the scientific qualifications, methodology and even ethics of the pollsters were scrutinized and the subject of a communications campaign that essentially implied that they were issuing bespoke results in favor of Syriza’s opponents, namely New Democracy.
“We tended to shy away from data because we had post-traumatic stress from previous situations (when polling data was refuted by actual results, in particular during the July 2015 referendum on whether to accept conditions EU in exchange for help with the country’s debts). “The raw data showed a virtual majority. If we (published), do you know what (the reaction) would be? ‘Your samples are rubbish. Throw them away. How could we react in the midst of an election campaign?'” Mavros said.
Stratos Fanaras of Metron Analysis also stated that the interviewing company had received “threats from several SYRIZA officials”. However, none of them has yet filed a lawsuit against SYRIZA, the prosecutor has not intervened, and SYRIZA has not reacted in any way to these allegations.
“Athenian News” wrote earlierthat SYRIZA expressed its dissatisfaction with the methods of publishing polls. But none of the polling companies has previously stated that they are being “pressed”. Somehow I hardly believe in the version of intimidation.
So maybe it’s not about their results and not even about pressure on polling companies, but about who counted the ballots? After all, it was not in vain that a catchphrase ascribed to I.V. Stalin: “The winner is not the one who is more popular, but the one who counts the votes.”
PS Interestingly, all social networks literally exploded with statements about election fraud, but opposition political parties almost never bring up this topic.. Either they decided that “it is not worth getting involved in these risky business”, or, (which is most likely), they made all their bets on the 2nd round of the elections.