Poll with the hole

March 27, 2009

BBC is running a story about proposed changes to the Act of Succession, which would allow a future monarch to marry a Catholic, and for female royals to have the same place in the pecking order as male heirs. There is widespread public support for change, the Today programme assured us.

A poll for the BBC found 89% in favour of equal rights for royal women and 81% approved of the heir being allowed to marry a Catholic … but, as presented, the results were meaningless because there was no indication of sample size and hence no way of judging its validity.

In fairness, the BBC website does state the sample size (1,000 polled by ICM between March 20-22), but why couldn’t this detail have been given or at least referenced in the broadcast? And while it’s laudable that the website gives the sample size, additional detail such as the margin of error would be useful – why not link to this, too?

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