By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
The University of Mindanao Institute of Popular Opinion (UM-IPO), a survey institute based in Davao City, on Tuesday stressed the importance of political surveys in the May 13 elections.
IPO Director Dr. Maria Linda Arquiza, during the regular meeting of Rotary Club East Davao, said that public opinion polls are very useful in tracing people’s views on important social issues, especially in assessing people’s preferences in political races and predict election results.
Arquiza said it is not yet final, but UM-IPO will be conducting a survey on senatorial candidates, however, they will avoid surveys on local candidates.
“Opinion surveys are not only used for political surveys, they can also be employed in marketing and advertising research to measure and predict consumer’s reaction to products,” she said.
She traced the history of opinion surveys rooting back in the social surveys conducted in Victorian Britain by social reformers to collect information on poverty and working class life.
Opinion survey was then popularized in the United States as early as 1824, during the presidential bid between Andrew Jackson against John Quincy Adams, analyzed locally in Pennsylvania. The opinion survey showed that Jackson leads against Adams by half, which later on related as the true outcome after the elections was done.
“Indeed, opinion survey research remains the most used and applied social research today as it is gaining acceptance in the wider public, with the scientific method and triviality as its basic advantage,” Arquiza added.
Opinion surveys can also be used as inputs in crafting of policies laws and ordinances which will lead to a more participatory government, since elected officials are inclined to listen and take heed of popular opinions, according to Arquiza.
“These opinions may not directly influence decisions, never the less they surely carry weight in consideration in policy design,” she added.