I’m disappointed that you’ve published pollster Gary Morgan’s encounter
with me without seeking my side of the story. For the record, Gary
confronted me aggressively, dressed in his full top hat and tails,
about five minutes after I alighted from a packed train at 12.30pm at
Flemington last Saturday.
Five witnesses were astounded by his behaviour as he demanded answers
about why I won’t publish his polls. For a start, we could fill our
papers every day with countless polls. We try to focus on the most
credible and interesting ones.
Gary neglects to point out a letter I wrote to him many months ago (to
which he has never responded), asking why his readership figures never
correlate with circulation trends. All I’ve sought is an explanation,
and can’t get one.
Our newspaper has recorded nine successive year-on-year increases in
circulation, the true barometer of performance, yet his polls fail to
recognise this trend. In fact, his polls often credit struggling
newspapers with extra readership. Strangely, his polls also attribute
more readers-per-copy to low circulation papers. He has never managed
to explained this phenomenon.
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You only have to study his track record on elections to understand my
concerns. John Howard would have been thrown out long ago if Gary’s
polls were right.
His bizarre decision to phone you “not long after first light” doesn’t
surprise me. He used that threat openly on Saturday. It’s a great shame
for Australian publishing that his polling still carries such weight.