Swimming with pools
Two Indonesian opinion polls that judged ex-general Prabowo Subianto to have won last week’s presidential election were penalized Wednesday after refusing to be audited by the agency that oversees pollsters in the country.
The Center of Policy and Strategic Development (Puskaptis) and the Indonesian Voting Network (JSI) were excluded from membership of the Association of Survey and Public Opinion (Persepi), raising deep questions about how they collected their poll data during the election and how they came up with such contrasting results.
On the evening of the July 9 vote, eight of 12 opinion polls ruled for Joko “Jokowi” Widoko – one deciding 8 percentage points in his favor – while four named Subianto the winner, the highest margin being 4 points.
Based on the result, the two candidates declared victory, leaving voters in limbo ahead of the General Elections Commission official result July 22.
Persepi – a non-profit organization comprising 32 polling agencies – said it had decided to conduct the audit after concerns arose about differences in seven of the pollsters results.
The Chairman of Persepi’s Ethics Board, Hari Wijayanto, told a press conference in the capital Jakarta on Wednesday afternoon that both institutions had not fulfilled a request to present their counting methods.
“According to the code of ethics, the board has decided the two are now excluded from membership of Persepi,” he added.
JSI resigned from Persepi by letter, while Puskaptis argued that an evaluation should be done after the result was announced.
Opinion polls that put Jokowi in the lead agreed to the audit and were deemed sound.