LucidTalk Polling projects are usually carried out by using a combination of three channels:
1. Online NI Opinion Panel Polling - The LT NI Opinion Panel
Online polling is now the accepted 'gold-standard' of polling and market research. With over 10,000 registered members’ LT target their NI representative panel online and receive usually between 3,000 to 4,000 responses per individual research project. From this, a robust NI representative sample of 2,080 is constructed, which is mathematically representative of NI opinion at that point in time, to within an error of only +/-3%. As can be seen from previous sections, LT's polls (using this online research approach) predicted the 2017 NI Assembly election results, and the NI EU Referendum result, both to within an error of only 1%.
2. Direct Telephone Contact
Some people may prefer the use of direct telephone contact in order that their views can be collated. In order to produce a robust representative opinion sample for projects it is necessary to ensure that key groups have their ‘proper representation’ in what is designed to be a representative opinion sample of the targeted sector e.g. Northern Ireland.
LT have a dedicated call-centre and all telephone polling is carried out according to UK Market Research standards and all calls made are to respondents who are opted-in to the ‘Telephone Preference Service’ (TPS).
In all projects LT use the telephone channel to balance the data obtained from the main LT methodology i.e. No. 1. Online polling (see left-hand-side).
3. Confidential Direct mail and/or Direct Door-to-Door contact
Direct Mail polling would be carried out by the polling participant/panel member completing a Questionnaire and returning it to an ‘Independent Adjudicator’ via reply-paid mail. This channel is usually used by people who are most concerned about confidentially, and concerned that their views cannot be traced directly back to them. Although LT guarantee confidentiality and non-traceability across all polling and research channels used – and this is independently verified and authenticated.
In addition, some polling participants may wish to be contacted directly on their door-step when a polling project is being carried out. Demographically these tend to be people who are more elderly, retired, and/or people from social groups D&E (lower working class, on benefits etc.) who are sometimes not comfortable with telephone polling, the ‘work’ of direct mailing their views, or using the Internet.
Using a mix of all the above communication channels, ensures that any proposed Polling Projects will produce the highest possible accuracy in the results. Ensuring that the poll-project will fairly represent public opinion in the targeted sector, be that Northern Ireland, or an area sector eg Belfast, or an age-group, or socio-economic group sector.