Friday, 24 June 2016

Goodbye to all that

A few years ago, my mother was asked to take part in some market research. It was what used to be called a Hall Test, and maybe still is. It involved tasting samples of orange juice. My mother enjoyed the experience, and being asked her opinion.

However, at the end of the interview, the market researcher asked my mother her age and explained that she was 'terribly sorry, but they wouldn't be able to use her interview as she was past the cut-off point.' Needless to say, my mother was not too amused to be declared 'past the cut-off point,' as if her opinions didn't count.

When I did my stint as an interviewer, the 'cut-off point' was absurdly young - 65 or even 60. This was explained to me (if I remember correctly) that 'older people' were difficult to interview/find and all the rest. Some couldn't hear well, some couldn't see well, some couldn't manage the steps going up to the room where the research was taking place. I have noticed on surveys I have done that it has crept upwards, but I expect there is still a bias against say, the over 75s.

Orange juice is one thing, but decisions about the political and economic future are another. When I woke up to the news this morning that was so different from the last poll I'd heard last night, my second thought was my mother and orange juice.

It's only a theory, but I expect that the polls underestimated the 75+ vote. From the demographic breakdowns I saw before the referendum, there was a clear age effect, with the 60+ group strongly more pro-Brexit compared to the average. My suspicion is that 75+ would be even more so.

With Brexit, it seems as if the 'Silent Generation' have found the voice the pollsters didn't want to hear - and used it.

5 comments:

Barbara Fisher said...

Hello Sue, I’ve just spent a happy half hour catching up with your posts. I enjoy blogging breaks but always end up missing the interaction and so here I am again!
I enjoyed this post immensely and smiled at your mother being described as past the cut-off point. Your Brexit post-mortem post also made me smile. After endless discussions with my youngest grandson about which way he should or shouldn’t vote he decided not to vote at all and then complained about the oldies messing up his life… What can one say?

Sue Imgrund said...

The whole Brexit aftermath brought out (and continues to bring out) the worst in people on social media. Funnily enough, most face to face discussions that I have had have been relatively civil!

Sue Imgrund said...

Here's a fascinating article about the brands (and corresponding values) favoured by Leavers and Remainers
http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/top-10-brands-favoured-remainers-brexiters/1403991

Barbara Fisher said...

Hello Sue, the image and personality attributes interest me. HP sauce, Bisto and PG tips – traditional, straightforward - yes, absolutely. The underground progressive, up-to-date, visionary. Really? I’m not so sure, but I do see what they are getting at.

Thank you for leaving such an interesting comment on my blog and for the links, both here and there.

Sue Imgrund said...

Maybe it (The Underground) was in 1860? :)