Tuesday - June 10th, 2014
Panel Discussion on Political Polling & Media in Canada

Election Polling in the West - Has it Changed The Research Industry For the Better?

Recent elections in Western Canada:  Do they represent a major blip in the historical success rate of the political pollsters in the West and across the country or is something systematic going on?  Political pundits, newsmakers, pollsters and even politicians themselves were left scratching their heads after recent examples of what appeared to be insurmountable leads in the polls turned into significantly different election day results--leaving some pollsters embarrassed, and running for cover. The MRIA has assembled an esteemed panel of political pollsters in the West who will share their recollections, experiences and knowledge of recent political polling in the west, but more importantly--will discuss what impact the 'misses' had on the polling industry in terms of its effect on our panel recruiting and sampling methodologies, relationships with clients and the media, proposal methodologies including the resurrection of the telephone method, and other impacts on our industry.

Moderator: Steve Mossop


President, Insights West

Steve Mossop is President of Insights West, a full-service marketing research company serving both public and private sectors in Western Canada. Incorporated in the Spring of 2012, Insights West now has 15 employees and one of the largest, most engaged online consumer panels in Western Canada.  Insights West has press released over 70 different public opinion polls on topics diverse as bridge tolls, bike lanes, gas fracking, road safety, cyber-bullying, employee satisfaction, smart phone usage, and many, many other topics.  We have developed a normative database of nearly 200 companies based on 40,000 interviews for their "Brand Digital Insights" model, which tracks corporate reputation and digital interactions with brands in the local marketplace.    Insights West has also created normative databases for Employee Satisfaction, Alumni Engagement, and Creative Testing. 

Steve was previously President of Market Research Canada West within Ipsos Reid for 17 years, managing approximately 50+ client service staff in offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Milton, Houston and Seattle, and was responsible for a business unit with annual billings of $15M.

Steve is a sought-after speaker who has been represented by the National Speakers Bureau and is a frequent public speaker in British Columbia. His accomplishments include launching Insights West to one of the fastest growing BC companies in the past two years, growing Ipsos Reid’s Western practice to become the market leader in Western Canada, winning BCAMA’s 2001 Marketer of the Year Award for the company, and winning Business in Vancouver’s “Top 40 Under 40” award in 2006. For the past two years, Steve has been chair of the BCAMA’s Senior Executive Program, an exclusive group of BC’s top marketers that meets once per month throughout the year. Steve holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University with a concentration in Marketing.

Éric Grenier

Polling analyst and the author of ThreeHundredEight.com

Éric Grenier is a political polling analyst and the author of ThreeHundredEight.com. He is also a contributor to The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post Canada, and The Hill Times, and has written for Le Devoir and L'actualité during federal and provincial elections in Quebec.

Tim Olafson


Co-founder, Stone-Olafson

Tim is a cool guy. Not cool as in hip (although he tries), but cool as in unflappable. He's the kind of person you want at the table when your organization is under pressure; when you're the decision-maker upon whom so much depends; or when you just really need someone to come up with a solution that works.

As a noted research leader, Tim's steadying advice and counsel is well honed within Canada and internationally. He directed Canada's first-ever election polling program conducted entirely online, and it's no coincidence it proved to be the most accurate poll in the country.

Delivering executive leadership at Angus Reid Strategies and Ipsos-Reid for close to 20 years, Tim has provided insightful guidance to major brands, all levels of government, start-ups and not-for-profits.

Tim's cool and collected ability to quietly, listen and then provide the perfectly astute and practical advice needed is second to none. And while he's at it, he'll probably crack a few jokes. You don't have to laugh, but some people find him funny.

He's concise, perceptive and thorough, with an instinctive ability to find creative solutions on the spot, and in the heat of the moment.

Tim is a co-founder of Stone-Olafson a successful research-driven consulting firm based in Calgary and serving clients across North America.

Scott MacKay


President – Probe Research Inc.

Scott MacKay is the President of Probe Research Inc. Celebrating its twentieth anniversary in business this year, Probe has grown to become a major consumer, public opinion and marketing research organization serving more than 350 private, public and not-for-profit organizations clients throughout North America.
Today, Probe Research provides strategic research services to an impressive stable of global and Fortune 500 companies and public sector entities including GE, Coca-Cola, Clorox Corporation and the International Center for Infectious Diseases. 

Probe Research has developed a respected specialization in urban affairs, public policy and drinking water-related research. The firm’s Clear Perspective on Water series includes detailed appraisals of the North American drinking water scene including long-term monitoring of public attitudes and behavors on tap and bottled water cost, reliability and environmental impact.

Probe Research maintains client services operations in San Diego and Winnipeg. Probe Research has polled and released the results of election polls in every municipal, provincial and federal election in Manitoba since 1997.

Lang McGilp


Senior Research Executive, Insightrix Research

Lang is a Senior Research Executive at Insightrix Research and has over 15 years of experience on the supplier side of marketing research.  Throughout his career, he has worked with a variety of clients in many sectors including telecommunications, travel and leisure, energy, insurance and financial.  At Insightrix, Lang works with a core set of clients in addition to managing the majority of the political polling that Insightrix conducts.