October 16th, 2019

SEIDO - Special Report: Lie to Me

What happened in August 11th Primaries? How could polls consensus forecast be so far off and have missed the real results by more than 10%? There was a common methodological bias or there was something else? To try to answer this question we have created a new Panel with 1.900 respondents that we surveyed before and after the elections and we find a striking feature. People lied, hid their true voting intentions or changed their minds.

When comparing "Who are you going to vote in the PASO" with "Who did you vote in the PASO" - using the same sampling and postratification methodology than in the Pre-PASO survey - we found that about 18% of the people did not disclose their true vote.

The hidden vote was not unbiased.

  • 91% of those who said "I will vote for AF-CFK" did so, but only 83% in the case of MM-MP, who lost 6% to AF.
  • "Secondary candidates" voters were much more volatile, Only 56% of those who said that they were going to vote for Lavagna disclosed their true vote, and 54%, 53% and 59% in the case of Del Caño, Espert and Gomez Centurion respectively.
  • Alberto Fernandez got almost 19% of the votes of those who chose a secondary candidate in the Pre Paso Poll, and Mauricio Macri only 9%.
  • Alberto Fernandez received 46% of the votes of those who answered "Blank, Null or Unkown" befoe the PASO.

Pre-PASO vs Post-PASO voting intention

But, who hid - or not disclosed - their real vote? We find no significant difference between men and women or between education levels but we see a clear pattern in age demographics. 33% of those between 16 and 30 years changed their vote vs. their Pre PASO answer and only 13%, 10% and 14% on those between 31 and 50, 51 and 65 and more than 65. 

Hidden vote by demographics


What did those who did not disclose their vote think about the candidates? Where they "closeted Kirchnerists" or did they bridge the gap between MM-CFK?

  • "Regular" images of CFK, MM and AF were much lower among those that did reveal their vote than among those who did not. Those who hid their votes look more nonpolarized, with a "Regular" image - No positive nor negative - of 21% on average, vs 6%/10% of those who revealed the vote.  
  • CFK's negative image is higher than MM (48% vs 38%) in "non-revealers" and the opposite hold in the revealers (43% vs 50%). 
  • 35% of the "non-revealers" did not have (or hid) their opinion of Alberto Fernandez vs. 8% in the revealers.

CFK, AF, and MM Image
% of the total


This combined information shed some light on PASO results and Polls consensus miss. In the PASO, AF was able to catch votes from all the candidates, and seduce voters from within the gap, "moderate" voters who had a negative image of CFK and MM. He succeeded in standing himself as the "third candidate" bridging the gap, something that was no being fully captured by the polls, or that was decided at the last minute. This feature is most striking in young people, who may both have more "volatile" opinions and less prone to reveal them on "standard" polls.  

This "hidden vote" factor can explain by itself  as much as 10pp difference between "ex-ante" forecast and real results. Thus, standard polls methods failure may not have been related to a bias in the sampling but, on the other hand, in the extraction of "True" information from surveyed people.

Best regards


Disclaimer: The content of this email is confidential and only meant to be seen by the receiver. This report may not be resent, reproduced or redistributed to any third party, in entirely or partially, for any purpose, without the prior written consent of SEIDO. The source data of this report is Elypsis SRL until August 11, 2019 and SEIDO since that date. Reproduced with authorization of respective owners. The opinions expressed are in good faith and while every care has been taken in preparing these documents, SEIDO makes no representations and gives no warranties of whatever nature in respect of these documents, including but not limited to the accuracy or completeness of any information, facts and/or opinions contained therein. SEIDO , the directors, employees and agents cannot be held liable for the use of and reliance of the opinions, estimates, forecasts and findings in these documents.

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