Poll results

Hungary is going to have general elections in exactly one month, on the 6th of April.    Let’s see what they say:


Green: decided voters


“Aktív szavazók” = decided voters

Szonda Ipsos

Decided voters


Decided voters


Decided voters

This does look promising for Fidesz. 🙂

Incidentally, let me address a quite  common political Internet “meme”, that is “polls are worthless because they ask only 1000 people in a country of 10 million people. You’d get something else if you asked the rest of the 9,999,000… “

Imagine you’ve got a big bag filled with a mix of wheat, rye, rice and corn.  How would tell how many grains of each kind are there in the big bag ?   Would you count each and every grain in that big, big bag meticulously?  Well, you do that when you cannot afford erring at all.  You do general elections.   However if you need to know the figures much quicker and at a much, much lower cost then  you look up the volume of the bag (that corresponds to using census data for the size of the whole  population),  you shake the bag well and then you randomly select some small part of the bag (you select a survey panel) and then you count the grains only in this sample.  The distribution of the grains in the sample will mach the distribution of the grains in the whole big bag because your sample should look like exactly as the rest of the bag content .  Say, you found there are 481 wheat grains among 1000 grains you randomly selected.  Then you may bet with a high stake that there would be about 4,810,000 wheat grains in the big bag which was counted (well, a few years ago) to contain 10 million grains altogether.

In fact basic statistics says you can be almost certain, with an odds 1:19  (that is a 5 percent probability) of being wrong, that the margin of error will be only about 2.5%  in our case as described above. If you do count all the grains in the bag then you’ll almost surely  find no more than 4,930,250 wheat grains  and no less than 4,689,750 wheat grains… provided you did shake the bag  well indeed and you didn’t cheat, or you didn’t make some mistake, when you counted the grains, of course.  So it’s worth comparing the results which wheat eaters, rye eaters,  rice eaters, corn eaters or meat eaters (with special regard to  black cats!!)  arrive at when  they take a handful of grains from the big bag.

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