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A 'poll' of Poles?

Daniel Pearl | 15:34 UK time, Thursday, 14 September 2006

When is a poll not a poll?

Well probably when it's a survey.

BBC Ten O'Clock News logoOn last night's Ten O'Clock News Evan Davis presented the findings of his survey of a few hundred Polish migrants living in the UK (watch the report here).

The Poles questioned thought we Brits are lazy, friendly and eat terrible food. They also revealed that many of them are earning less than the minimum wage, they often share bedrooms and are generally hostile to the prospect of a new wave of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria. (Read full results here.)

All undeniably interesting, but not a poll. There are all sorts of rules governing official opinion polls, such as sample size and selection. So what are we to do? Call it a Survey of Poles? Surely not. Did we have any realistic choice? Surely it had to be called a Poll of Poles. What would you have done (honestly)?

We did obviously make it clear that this wasn't a scientific poll - in fact Evan called it in his inimitable way, a "straw poll of Poles". My guess is that our viewers shared Evan's sense of humour.


  • 1.
  • At 07:21 PM on 14 Sep 2006,
  • Aaron McKenna wrote:

I daresay so myself, though the Terrible Pun Police might disagree. I watched the piece, and was left under no illusion from start to finish that it was not a scientific poll. If that's the worst you had to worry about last night then I'd say you came off pretty lightly :-)

  • 2.
  • At 01:32 PM on 15 Sep 2006,
  • Robert McKay wrote:

Without wanting to get into the merits/drawbacks of immigration, but a wave of immigrants being "generally hostile to the prospect of a new wave of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria", is surely ironic, at the least.

  • 3.
  • At 03:23 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • eben wrote:

All I can say to this is that at least theres now a 'minority' group hated on more than those of African origin. I dont get stopped and searched as much now. Thanks Poles, Romanians, Moslems etc. Also Britain will be needing them if theyre to get their Olympics infrastructure built. Go to any building site and you'll see the proportion of eastern europeans far outnumbers the brits. There's a reason why the EU is called European Union. Its a fact of the global market. Lets embrace it and deal with it in a positive manner. After all we have also pillaged other countries under the banner of commonwealth and colonialism. I dont think the word terrorism was in the dictionary during those periods!!!

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