Online poll “skewed”

The Faversham Times (23 May) reports on the controversy over its online poll after last week’s report on the refusal of a planning application for a restaurant at Standard Quay. The poll appeared to show that three-quarters of voters wanted to see a “top-end” restaurant on the Quay, but people had complained about problems in registering votes, and sudden dramatic swings in the vote (which at one point jumped within a couple of hours from 73% against the restaurant to 77% in favour). Could the poll have been skewed by block voting? Yes, says a spokesman: “If a user is particularly determined there are ways to register multiple votes … there is nothing we can do to prevent them.” The poll is described as “light-hearted” and should not, says editor Rebecca Smith, be taken as a definitive expression of public opinion.

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