Dear Editor,

Now that some of the elections’ debris seems to be settling, I thought it might be a good time to review Vishnu Bisram’s pre-elections poll findings and compare these with how the electorate actually voted on November 28. In the following Table, I set out the share of the votes by region, as well as and the overall share of the votes which according to Mr Bisram would be in favour of the four parties contesting the elections. The table then compares these with the actual voting as reported by Gecom and highlights the significant differences.

Despite having a margin of error of 6% – high by any polling standard – Mr Bisram got it wrong in seven (3,4,6,7,8,9 and 10) of the ten regions. For good measure, his poll also had the overall result for the APNU off target by 9 percentage points. That is an error rate of 70%! As readers would note from the table, these are by no means small percentages and in six of the seven regions where he was wrong by more than the margin of error, the difference in percentage points was in the double digits. Indeed in those cases, the error ranged from 10% to 27% percentage points.

These huge margins are rare for any credible pollster and may vindicate those who have criticised NACTA and Mr Bisram for less than professional, objective and impartial polling. His last pre-election poll carried only in the Guyana Chronicle not only caused Mr Bisram’s reputation considerable if irreparable damage but quite possibly adversely affected the PPP/C’s electoral success as well. One day before the elections, the Guyana Chronicle converted his poll and its margin of error into a “landslide” for the PPP/C with APNU and the AFC trailing.
Maybe Mr Bisram should take some time out to review his methodology and in future offer to Guyanese polls that are more reliable, objective and useful.

Finally, while Mr Bisram got it wrong, the voters got it right. They have shown that no one party has a lock on the electorate and for the first time have given the country shared governance between two major arms of the state. I am more than just hopeful that our politicians will rise to the occasion and we will have balanced growth and development over the next five years.

Yours faithfully,
Christopher Ram  

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