Reliable research?

I am afraid East Devon District Council deputy leader Ray Franklin is demonstrating his lack of knowledge of market research when, regarding the unitary council debate, he claims the number of cards we have received this time is, in market research terms, a wholly reliable sample of East Devon's feelings"".

I am afraid East Devon District Council deputy leader Ray Franklin is demonstrating his lack of knowledge of market research when, regarding the unitary council debate, he claims "the number of cards we have received this time is, in market research terms, a wholly reliable sample of East Devon's feelings". Since the sample is totally self-selecting, it is completely unknown what the make-up is of those, the majority, who did not reply. And this does not take into account the generally biased method by which opinions were sought. It is entirely possible that those strongly against the proposal were particularly motivated to respond, while those in favour or neutral were much less inclined. If a true reflection of feelings is to be elicited, a properly controlled, random (or at least representative quota) sample of the residents would need to be questioned. Leslie Henry,18 Drake's Avenue, Exmouth.