After the preliminary results of the second round of elections for the position of mayor of the capital were made available, Doru Petruţi, general director of the sociological research company [imas], concluded that more left leaning voters refused to participate in the exit poll.
"This is also confirmed by the structure of the refusals. Our operators registered the gender and the approximate age of the people who refused to respond. Most people who refused to be surveyed were over 55 years of age, which was the most active demographic group, by age, in the election", said Doru Petruți for IPN.
The surprise of the exit poll surveyors was that even young and educated people chose not to participate in the survey. "Moreover, they were more than reluctant and, at times, even aggressive towards survey operators. While the operators did not engage in electoral campaigning, they were perceived as party representatives by some survey participants", said the [imas] director.
Doru Petruți said that the refusals offer insight into our mentality, values, political culture and the aggressiveness cultivated by politicians, which was expressed at the of exit-poll.
Preparations for an exit poll at the 2020 presidential elections have already begun. Doru Petruți said that internal analyses of organizational procedures related to the current poll are being carried out. "It is very important to understand all the phenomena that have occurred, to understand their causes and to indentify ways to improve the process", said Doru Petruți. The [imas] director said that he hopes that two exit polls will be conducted during the presidential elections of 2020.
According to Doru Petruți, in order to improve the political culture, the sociological companies, the authorities, the Central Electoral Commission, the media and civil society should all be involved. "Everyone who promotes democratic values and believes in this model must engage the population in order to explain what an exit poll is and what its contributions to society is", said the [imas] director.
The exit poll that was conducted at 67 polling stations in the second round of local elections for the position of mayor of Chișinău municipality was not relevant due to the high rate of participation refusal in the poll. 25.9% of surveyees refused to say who they voted for.