In May 2019, the European Parliamentary (EP) elections will take place and one year will have passed since the investiture of Italy’s current, and contentious, coalition government, sustained by an unlikely and unsteady alliance between the League (the ostensibly junior partner) and the Five-Star Movement. The government's patent populist policies and its leaders’ relentless social media campaigning have apparently engendered exceptionally high levels of public support. Current vote forecasts are favourable for both parties (but extremely so for the League); these expectations are noticeably driving policy decisions, shaping the balance of power between the two allies, fanning their Euroscepticism, and affecting the likelihood of the government’s survival until the EP election. Since Italian pollsters’ markedly failed to anticipate practically all of the most politically relevant outcomes of the 2018 national elections and significantly underestimated the strength of the two currently governing parties, it is legitimate to wonder whether current polls are reliable, i.e., whether pollsters are collectively “overcompensating” for last year’s failures and thus likely to perform badly once again. The paper intends to monitor the methodological quality (especially vis-à-vis past election campaigns) of published polls carried out during the 2019 EP election campaign in Italy (administration mode, sample size, sampling technique, weighting procedures, etc.). Moreover, polls’ predictive capacity will be assessed (primarily via examination of voter turnout expectations and, for the relationships between competing parties, via Martin et al.’s “A” measure); characteristics of better-performing polls will be identified and discussed. The role of published voting intention polls and the impact of rules regulating published polls in Italy (especially its two-week embargo) will also be explored.

Voting Intention Polls in the 2019 Italian Election for the European Parliament: Methodological Quality and Predictive Capacity in Times of Populism

Gasperoni, Giancarlo
2019

Abstract

In May 2019, the European Parliamentary (EP) elections will take place and one year will have passed since the investiture of Italy’s current, and contentious, coalition government, sustained by an unlikely and unsteady alliance between the League (the ostensibly junior partner) and the Five-Star Movement. The government's patent populist policies and its leaders’ relentless social media campaigning have apparently engendered exceptionally high levels of public support. Current vote forecasts are favourable for both parties (but extremely so for the League); these expectations are noticeably driving policy decisions, shaping the balance of power between the two allies, fanning their Euroscepticism, and affecting the likelihood of the government’s survival until the EP election. Since Italian pollsters’ markedly failed to anticipate practically all of the most politically relevant outcomes of the 2018 national elections and significantly underestimated the strength of the two currently governing parties, it is legitimate to wonder whether current polls are reliable, i.e., whether pollsters are collectively “overcompensating” for last year’s failures and thus likely to perform badly once again. The paper intends to monitor the methodological quality (especially vis-à-vis past election campaigns) of published polls carried out during the 2019 EP election campaign in Italy (administration mode, sample size, sampling technique, weighting procedures, etc.). Moreover, polls’ predictive capacity will be assessed (primarily via examination of voter turnout expectations and, for the relationships between competing parties, via Martin et al.’s “A” measure); characteristics of better-performing polls will be identified and discussed. The role of published voting intention polls and the impact of rules regulating published polls in Italy (especially its two-week embargo) will also be explored.
Europe and Beyond: Boundaries, Barriers and Belonging
677
677
Gasperoni, Giancarlo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/706436
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