Kuwaiti National Assembly elections 2016 and opinion polls, Dr. Samir Abu Rumman, ‎media interview

Within the direct media coverage of the Kuwaiti National Assembly elections, d. Samir Abu Rumman, General Supervisor of the World of Opinions Center and advisor to the Center for Gulf Opinions – in an interview with Al-Jazeera channel 11/26/2016 that the voter turnout in the 2016 Kuwaiti National Assembly elections is higher than the elections that preceded it, which witnessed a boycott due to the one-vote law. Until the opinion pollsters ask citizens whether they will vote, and it has been found that the percentage of those who will vote ranges between 50-60%, but it decreases by about 10-15% on polling day for well-known reasons such as voter laziness on polling day, and in Kuwait the participation rate is high Compared to other countries, on the other hand, in previous elections many rejected this question, and there was a large percentage of voters hesitating in light of calls for a boycott.

Regarding the qualitative and quantitative difference in voters in these elections, Dr. Samir showed that there is no fundamental difference except for the increase in Sunni participants, which may lead to a decrease in the representation of Shiites in the National Assembly than in the past, and he mentioned that opinion polls consistently indicate that women vote less than men, and that the elderly vote more than the young.

When asked to what degree one can trust and rely on the results of opinion polls, Dr. Samir clarified that opinion polls during the election period constitute 20% of the total number of polls that cover different topics, and that opinion polls during election periods are particularly sensitive and subject to fluctuations. Opinion pollsters cannot predict it despite its good history in predicting winners. Respondents may lie, in addition to a high percentage of respondents’ rejection, a percentage of statistical error, and the possibility of voters changing their opinions at the last minute due to sectarian and tribal tensions.

Dr. Abu Rumman referred to the reports submitted to some candidates, which monitor the constituencies in which they have greater opportunities and provide the candidate with data that he can ascertain its credibility on the ground. He mentioned that despite the disputes in the 2013 elections due to the one-vote law, it was reached 75% of the predictions of the winners are correct in the polls carried out by the Opinion Center. These interactions were a cause for concern among the pollsters because of their impact, along with the powers of the Supreme Constitutional Court, on the final form of the electoral lists.