Yomiuri Opinion Polls Include Cell Phones

By Fukuda, Masafumi | The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), April 23, 2016 | Go to article overview

Yomiuri Opinion Polls Include Cell Phones


Fukuda, Masafumi, The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)


The Yomiuri Shimbun's national telephone survey of public opinion conducted April 1-3 included cell phone numbers for the first time.

With a growing share of society, particularly young people, having only cell phones, this method was introduced to improve the accuracy of Yomiuri polls.

Respondents 18 and over

Most telephone polls conducted by media companies target respondents via landlines. In these polls, telephone numbers are randomly generated by computer. When connected to a household with eligible voters, one person is selected at random to answer the questions.

Starting in April, The Yomiuri Shimbun's monthly national poll and other telephone surveys will also dial cell phone numbers.

At the same time, the minimum age of eligible respondents will be lowered from 20 years old to 18 years old to coincide with the lowering of the voting age.

Randomly generated cell phone numbers will be dialed and the people who answer will be asked to participate in the poll. The respondents will first be asked if they are driving. If they are, or are otherwise unable to talk, the call will be terminated immediately.

There were 526 landline respondents and 584 cell phone respondents in the April poll, for a total of 1,100 respondents.

The views of those contacted via landline did not differ significantly from those contacted via cell phone.

For example, 51 percent of landline respondents said they supported the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, while 50 percent of cell phone respondents supported the Cabinet.

This indicates that current polls, which target only landlines, can accurately gauge public opinion.

However, postal polls conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun over the last five years have shown a gradual increase in the proportion of people who only have cell phones.

In a poll in January-February 2011, 9 percent of respondents said they only had cell phones. This rose to 14 percent in a poll in January-February this year.

The proportion of people who have only cell phones more than doubled in these five years among people in their 30s, 40s and 50s. …

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