Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Statement from IPSOS/MRBI re We the Citizens polling

June 9th, 2011 · 8 Comments · Irish Politics

A response has been received from IPSOS/MRBI via We the Citizens regarding my post yesterday.


In order to conduct a nationally representative survey among 18+ individuals Ipsos MRBI uses a Random Digit Dialling (RDD) approach. This means that a large sample file of randomly generated mobile and landline numbers is loaded on to our computer system. Our computer system then randomly generates leads from this database that interviewers use to make calls to potential respondents.

In relation to today’s query which related to the validity and protocol of our random digit dialling; we can verify that the respondent in question was contacted through an RDD sample. This respondent’s number was contained in our original sample file, of 100,000 contact telephone numbers. The respondent completed the survey on 04/06/2011. The interview was conducted by an interviewer in Ipsos MRBI’s call centre in Blackrock and was unknown to the respondent. At the end of this survey, the respondent was asked if he would be interested in participating in the Citizens Assembly which is due to take place at the end of June. All respondents of the survey are asked this as a standard question; some state that they are not interested in participating.

Following on from this original phonecall, a recruitment process then commenced on 8th June 2011, which focused on re-contacting participants of the original survey who had expressed an interested in taking part in the Citizens Assembly. This particular respondent’s name was contained on this list. On this date, an interviewer within the call centre, was assigned the responsibility of contacting respondents and confirming their willingness to and availability for taking part within the Citizens’ Assembly. As coincidences have it, this interviewer knew the respondent in question.

While thinking about this incident in isolation, it may seem highly coincidental that a respondent would be known to an interviewer within our call centre. However, if we consider it in the context of the many thousands of calls that our call centre makes in a given year, then it is highly feasible that some respondents may in fact be known to interviewers. Indeed, we have had scenarios where some of our clients may in fact have been contacted in relation to research that we have conducted through our call centre unit. The nature of our call centre, as well as the volume of work we do, is such that we have processed a huge amount of research calls over the years. Because of these numbers, chances are that those who have participated in our surveys, may be connected in someway, through some degree of separation, to someone who works in here, be that research executives or interviewers themselves. For those in the general public who have not yet been contacted to participate in one our surveys, chances are their number will be contained somewhere on our RDD sample file and so may be contacted in the near future.



8 Comments so far