The year we’ve had and the one we are about to have
In October 2018, iPoll was proud to share the very first of our poll results. It was the culmination of many months’ hard work, innovation and determination to help shape public discourse in Ghana.
Since the dawn of time, public opinion has had a critical role in instigating change. In the barest and most eloquent manner, votes at the poll endorse or reject the agenda of political leaders. Often, sadly, it has taken violence on the streets, destruction of property and even fatalities to force change. In 2011, we saw many Arab states brought to instability by a collision between the (youthful) forces of change and the established order that had dominated those countries for decades. Some of these countries are yet to recover from the socio-political turmoil that were occasioned by what we have come to know as the “Arab Spring”.
Clearly, public opinion is a motive force for social advancement. The voice of the people is the closest we have to hearing the voice of God. It is in the interest of all to acknowledge and heed this voice. For those in office, it could make the difference between success and victory at the polls. For those wishing to come to office, public opinion, properly discerned can help shape a platform. For everyone, having the actual data on the tides of public opinion can be a useful to gauge the mood of the public, promote causes and encourage the advancement of popular ideas. That is why a rigorous and transparent tool to measure and track public opinion, such as iPoll, is critical in any polity.
When we produced and shared the results of our first ever poll – Eye on the Big Issues – a number of public policies were exercising the minds of politicians, pundits and the people. Our poll showed the decisive popularity of the Free SHS programme, the skepticism of the public about the double track system and the reluctance of the public to endorse a national cathedral or the barter deal with China. These results were discussed widely in the media and featured on the front pages. Naturally, our polarized media chose which headlines best reflected the position they already had. It is also worth noting that the government is moving ahead with the national cathedral, the double track system is in operation, for now, and the SinoHydro deal is expected to move ahead in this new year. Should these become an issue in the future, we can at least say that government at least knew how the people felt.
Since then, we have conducted some other important surveys. With Joy FM, we sought the views of the public on the 2019 budget. Our Big Issues 2 poll will soon be published, along with the results of a survey on how Ghanaians saw 2018 and what they expect to change or stay the same in 2019.
Of course, a notable triumph was the NDC National Executive elections where the iPoll model correctly predicted four out of the five contests we polled, a better record than any of the rival predictions in that cycle.
With this confidence, we are moving into 2019 determined to track and trace public opinion with efficiency and rigour that we dare say has not been available in the country till now. In collaboration with Business and Financial Times, we will soon launch our consumer and business confidence index, which will measure how businesses and consumers assess economic prospects going forward. We will also be undertaking a quarterly Presidential and Government Approval Survey to track how well Ghanaians think their elected leaders are executing their mandate. iPoll will conduct and publish our survey ahead of the NDC Presidential Primary. In addition, we will conduct our big issues polls on big national issues. And, we will expand our operations to some of our neighbours on the African continent.
Our confidence is built on the preparatory work we have done and the systemic and infrastructural improvements we have made and will make to our processes. iPoll is here for the rigour; for transparency and unflinching fidelity to the ethics of the discipline. And we are here to make sure that your voice counts in the debate about this country and its future. Do join us.
Download the iPollgh application from the Google Play Store, and on the web for those using iPhone. Alternatively, you can access our polls and more information from ipollgh.com
By: S Kwame Appiah
Lead Pollster, iPollgh
2nd January, 2019
iPollgh is a polling and research application that deploys modern mobile technology to collect and analyse views and opinions. The application is available on Android and can also be accessed via web. Polls taken are completely impartial and subjected to rigorous analysis by a team of expert and in accordance with international best practice.
S Kwame Appiah
054 466 3569