Colombian pollsters Tuesday denied accusations that they have manipulated the results of surveys that calculate voter support of candidates in the race for the nation’s presidency.
A representative from pollster Datexco, Cesar Valderrama, told El Elespectador that there are “healthy and coherent” regulations for polls and that his firm’s only function is to provide information on voter decisions.
Napoleon Franco, the director of pollster Ipsos-Napoleon Franco also stressed that there had been no manipulation of the polls. Franco said that “small” variations” in poll results had generated a lot of “suspicious” thoughts, but added that not one of the four major pollsters “would dare to do something bad because it would be on the first page of the press.”
Franco said that variations in poll results are due to varying factors in how the polls are conducted; including over what time period the poll is conducted, if it is conducted over the phone or in person, and how long it takes to formulate the results.
The director of El Espectador and the editorial chief from El Tiempo both said that comparative analysis of different polls was irrelevant, because different pollster use different scientific methods.
Accusations of poll rigging follow the release of two polls last week, which varied greatly in how leading candidates Juan Manuel Santos and Antanas Mockus are placed in the race for the Colombian presidency.
Colombia’s presidential elections are scheduled for May 30.