The Sunday question ("Who would you vote for if there were an election on Sunday? ") is only a snapshot, as they say, but it still keeps many politicians awake twice a year. We visited the Ilres and asked them about it.
Ilres General Director Tommy Klein ‒ Ilres stands for Institut luxembourgeois de recherches sociales et d'études de marchés ‒ receives us late in the morning in the ultra-modern premises of the opinion research institute in Bartringen and, despite a packed agenda, takes all the time in the world to talk to us. The 37-year-old, who always wanted to do something "where you get to know society and understand it better" and who is very interested in politics, has a master's degree in sociology and philosophy and has been working at Ilres in various positions since April 2013.
Lëtzebuerger Journal: To start with a banal question: What is opinion research?
Tommy Klein: I see us as the mouthpiece of society. I think that there are not many occasions where the ordinary citizen has the opportunity to speak out. Surveys can be a means through which people can express their opinion and also contribute to a policy, for example when it comes to evaluating a decision. Opinion research gives society a voice.
Can you be a little more specific?
The role of opinion research is to neutrally cover the different opinions on a certain topic or issue in society and to communicate them to the outside world.
How much power do pollsters have?
You always have to find a balance between a neutral presentation of the results and the outward effect that a survey can have. I know that especially those surveys that are also published are strongly discussed in public and the people that appear in them are asked many a question about the results. Of course, one can speak of a certain influence. However, we also do a whole series of surveys that are not published.
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