Today, YouGov launch our first MRP poll in Australia, in partnership with the Australian Conservation Foundation.
Findings are available at https://togetherwecanmovement.org.au/.
This article explains what MRP is and how we have used it for this poll.
What is MRP?
Multi-level Regression and Post-stratification, or MRP is an approach to understand public opinion in small geographical areas. YouGov has successfully used this method to replace individual seat polling – which is resource intensive and therefore expensive – with statistically derived estimates based on polling and census data.
What is the science behind MRP?
It is based on the principle that people with similar characteristics behave in similar ways (and often have additional unseen common attributes), and this allows us to paint a much more detailed picture using our polling data.
How is MRP different from conventional polling?
MRP uses polling data but is different from a traditional poll. Polls aim to ask a representative sample of people a question and then show the results to that question, broken down by demographics. MRP instead uses data from a poll to discover relationships between people’s characteristics and their answers to key issue questions. It then combines these relationships/patterns with data about the characteristics of people living in different electorates using Census data, such as population density, education and household income among other factors, which when combined with polling data constructs estimates of how the issue would play out in that specific geographical area, for example voting intention during an election.
Has YouGov done this before?
YouGov has successfully used this method to make estimates of voting intention in all 650 constituencies in UK General Elections and 435 districts in the US House of Representatives. This included calling a close result in the 2017 UK election when conventional polls were predicting a comfortable win for the Conservative Party.
Who constructs the model?
YouGov works closely with the experts in political modelling such as Dr Shaun Ratcliff from the University of Sydney to construct the MRP model.
How many Australians were interviewed?
YouGov interviewed a representative sample of over 15,000 Australian voters aged 18+. This makes it one of the largest surveys using a representative sample conducted in Australian history. The survey was conducted according the standards of the Australian Polling Council Code of Conduct and more information can be found here.