We’re all ready for the election. Are you?

New ‘Election Special’ discounted rates for all UK RDD until June 30th 2017

Unbiased RDD sample ready for you. 

Following Theresa May’s recent announcement of a general election to take place on June 8th 2017, we’re ready to provide the Market Research industry with all the sample you require to enable unbiased and representative telephone polling. Experience shows us that the best way to gain unbiased telephone samples is to use RDD (Random Digit Dial) numbers which are randomly generated.

More RDD than any other provider

Here at Sample Answers, we have produced RDD for the Market Research industry for over two decades. Today, we offer more experience in producing dual frame RDD thanany other sample providerCheck out RDD on our website now.

New ‘Election Special’ discounts

To help you to make use of the most established statistically representative RDDsamples, we’re introducing an ‘Election Special’, with discounted rates for all UKRDD sales right through until the end of June 2017. This will enable you to survey opinions in the most unbiased and representative way, both pre and post election.

RDD – fresh to order

Unlike many other suppliers of RDD, here at Sample Answers, we make our RDDfresh for each new order rather than relying on pre-created stock which can be out of date. All of our seeds are current and our line verification is processed at the time of the order to make sure that your bespoke RDD order is as up to date as possible. You can expect next day delivery of any single country order.

We’re ready. Are you?

To take advantage of our new ‘Election Special’ discounted rates with the best quality, most up to date RDD, call our client services team today on 0208 274 5000or email us at

Phil Bird
Managing Director
Sample Answers Ltd.

Living in interesting times – are we ready for another election?

Now there’s a question!

After UK elections for parliament in 2015, a referendum in 2016, the Scottish referendum in 2014 and their national election last year, not forgetting voting for the Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies, are we ready for another full parliamentary battle?   In particular – can the opinion pollsters cope? All researchers will be well aware of the doubts about the reliability of the recent opinion polls expressed by many observers both in the UK and overseas.

These doubts have led to considerable controversy concerning research and sampling methods, with much of the controversy surrounding the interminable dispute between telephone and online data collection. Theoretically there should be no doubt that a genuine telephone study using an RDD (Random Digit Dial) sample should have the edge over the self–selecting process endemic to on-line research.

However, in practice, the results from the two methods aren’t as readily distinguished as the different sample methods would suggest.   With declining response rates and the cost / time pressures frequently placed upon telephone research, the quality of the ‘sample’ as selected can be quickly eroded into what is effectively also a self-selecting sample, albeit one with more control information available. This similarity is further emphasised by the manner in which both online and telephone polls will be subject to similar demographic quota controls.

Despite those similarities, there will, of course, be some major differences in the way the two methods achieve the final sample

For example, the landline telephone sample will rapidly ‘fill’ the older (65 and over) age group because older people are more likely to be at home whatever time of the day the phone rings. Indeed in the UK it was a finding from the 2015 polling that, probably, it would be important in future to split the age quota, because too many over 75’s were filling the 65+ group and (possibly) that fact had introduced a labour bias into some of the polls.

Nowadays, of course, no-one would do a telephone study without using both a landline and a mobile sample to ensure coverage of the population

But do we understand all the probabilities? How many of the mobile phone sample could also have been selected within the landline sample (and vice versa)?   Reading the literature I can find no reference to weighting by the varying probabilities associated with a telephone sample and, possibly, it is the case that possession of landline only / mobile only / both mobile and landline is entirely neutral in regard to voting intentions. However, I have some doubts about this neutrality, since there is increasing evidence that social class is nowadays less significant as an indicator of voting intention than usage of social media.

Whichever way you look at it, the pollsters are once again in for a difficult time

There simply is no consensus as to how to fix whatever it was that went wrong in the past. A lot of the old models built to re-calibrate the results by distributing ‘don’t knows’ based on past behaviour have had to be thrown away and new ideas wait to be tried and tested.

My own idea is that time of day is important both for online and for telephone work. I would like to see much more attention paid to the time of day the response is obtained and examine the differences in responses by time of day. That has been found to influence some online survey results and could similarly affect telephone research.

Are any of the pollsters looking at that?

One thing for sure is that the rest of us will be looking at the polls with interest. Will it strengthen the ‘Remainers’ and allow a soft Brexit? Will Jeremy Corbyn break through to the wider electorate? How will the Scots and the Northern Irish vote?

It has been said that the Chinese curse was ‘may you live in interesting times’! With Donald Trump, North Korea, Putin, Syria, Brexit, Scottish Independence and, above all, non-probability samples – I can safely say enough is enough!

Tony Dent, Chairman, Sample Answers

See you at The Insight Show 2017 – Stand IA508

We’ll be on Stand IA508 at The Insight Show, Olympia West on  8-9 March, 2017. Check out our stand on the floorplan below and pop by to have a chat. We’ll look forward to meeting you there.

The Insight Show is the THE event for professionals who generate or interpret actionable intelligence into strategic actions. This long standing and reputable exhibition and conference provides researchers and analysts with the services, knowledge, contacts and inspiration to help develop and deliver your next big projects. Plan your day and find out more

Insight Show Floorplan



By Tony Dent

January 2017

“I wanna tell you a story…” was frequently the start of a short homily from the late Max Bygraves in his British TV show of the 1960’s.  Unfortunately Max’s tales don’t strike me as examples of what is meant by today’s demand for the type of story designed to illuminate research results.

So what is meant by those marketers who request storytelling?  

The object is clear and well expressed in the blog on: – where they say “Stories are a great way of learning from others, and can help shape cultures within business.

But beware – in the same blog it says “A story has a core message, but can be interpreted in different ways, depending on the lens through which it’s being heard.”

Now I am sure that those who were emphasising the value of storytelling at the Insights Association’s CEO conference in Miami last week were not contemplating the possibility of different interpretations of the story.

So what was it they really expect?  To be honest, for me, the means by which the objective of storytelling is achieved, remains somewhat obscure but here are a few guidelines as I see it and I hope others will add to these do’s and don’ts to provide a genuine guide as to the best way to achieve the desired result.

  1. a)      The Insight story must contain facts – it is not a place for fantasy or fiction
  2. b)      It should be supported by external evidence whenever possible
  3. c)       Where possible, the story should be illustrated with clear examples.  If the story talks about behaviour then use video
  4. d)      Structurally, if possible, argue your result through thesis, antithesis and synthesis
  5. e)      They say that the Bible is the greatest story ever told but my final advice is ‘be brief’

I hope that’s enough to put you all to sleep!


Newscall No. 2

Welcome to ‘NewsCall’, our new online newsletter. Here we’ve shared with you a few news stories that have captured our interest this year and created some lively debates in our office… We hope you enjoy the read and welcome hearing your opinions.  Read more

Discover the first consequences of Brexit – See a preview of our survey findings


Article by Tony Dent


Presently we only have 58 responses to this survey; which follows from the previous Brexit survey (most invites to this survey were only sent on Friday). 59% of the respondents had voted ‘leave’ and 39% voted ‘remain’, with 2% not voting or refused to say. As with the previous survey responses have been received from all regions and all business sizes; with the majority of respondents aged over 55 and 80% ‘male’. Read more

They think it’s all over, it is now! Fantasy Football update

…For another year at least.

Who would have predicted the actual Premier League standings?  Leicester City winning the trophy, I’m Hotspurs but Arsenal finishing second above Tottenham yet again.  I don’t see that happening again next year.  Man United outside the Champions League places, unfortunately my Palace couldn’t stop them from winning the FA Cup again.  Liverpool not qualifying for Europe next year.  At least the relegation places were fairly predictable. Read more




Photo – Tony Dent and Mark Dent with Dan Bousted, with 41 points – proud winner of the morning individual Stapleford competition.

The big day finally came round on July the 7th 2016, when thirty five people attended the MRS Golf Day at Chobham Golf Club in aid of the Market Research Benevolent Association (MRBA)

With bacon rolls and coffee on arrival and tee times starting at 8:28am, the following 12 hours included an individual Stapleford competition, lunch and a Greensomes pairs competition – 36 holes of golf!  These happy antics led to the evening entertainment of prize giving, beer and sandwiches, culminating in the all-important prize draw raffle.

The draw was the big moment of the day to raise more funds for the very worthy cause of MRBA

Many thanks to all the people who contributed amazing prizes for the draw – which produced a fantastic £540 for the MRBA. This contribution succeeded in bringing the total amount raised in excess of £1,200.

The MRBA is especially grateful to Critical Research, Market Cube, Focus Vision, Insight Show, Dapresy, LightSpeed GMI and Sample Answers for their generous support.


Morning Individual Stapleford Competition




Dan Bousted – 41 points
Runner Up


Paul Williams – 40 points
Front Nine*


Kieren Unwin – 22 points
Back Nine*


Ben Leet – 23 points
Nearest the pin


Justin Alderson
Longest Drive


Steve Pick

*Winner / Runner up are not eligible for front / back nine prizes


Afternoon  Pairs Greensomes Competition




Kieren Unwin and Paul Williams – 41 points
Runners Up


Roy Patel and Justin Alderson – 40 points
Nearest the pin


Marc Chester
Longest Drive


Chris Occleshaw












Morning individual Stableford







Nearest Pin




Longest Pin




Afternoon Greensomes Stableford








Nearest Pin




Longest Pin




Organised By: 


Response Issues

An investigation Prepared by Tony Dent

Thanks to all those researchers who kindly responded to the survey so quickly. In all we had 104 responses from 32 different countries, with the majority (49) from the UK and the remainder scattered across the globe, including 12 from the US, 6 Germany and 3 each from Italy and the Netherlands. By far the majority of responses came from full service Market Research companies although a minority of fieldwork suppliers provide both telephone and face to face data collection and thus the answers add to more than 100% (sadly, this obvious possibility had not been sensibly considered when designing the survey)!

Want to know more?

Read more