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Hamburger Poll accurately forecasts Liberal Party win

De Dutch within a margin of 3 percent

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

SURREY, BC – A small restaurant chain in BC with Dutch immigrant roots has reintroduced meat patties and fried onions into election time opinion polling. Considered amateurish by the experts who find it increasingly difficult to measure political preferences with complicated scientific methods, the folks at De Dutch Pannekoek House outlets invited people to come to their locations and vote with their stomachs when ordering a De Dutch hamburger named after their favourite party leader.

The original De Dutch Hamburger Polls have gained a reputation for accuracy in providing unofficial forecasts of provincial election results. They closed on the eve of the May 12 election anticipating a Gordon Campbell-led Liberal Party win with 43.3 percent of the De Dutch customers’ popular vote. The actual percentage of the Liberal’s popular vote across the province came in at 46.04 percent. Eleven of the eighteen De Dutch restaurant locations also accurately forecasted the winning candidates in the electoral districts in which their restaurants are situated.

Poll results

Historically, the Hamburger Poll predicted elections results within 10%. Just prior to the election, one pollster reported that 47 percent of the BC voters supported the Campbell Liberals while another put Liberal support at 44 percent. Those are very close to the Burger polls 43.3 percent.

De Dutch Pannekoek customers were also relatively accurate in reflecting the popular support for the Green Party with 15.09 percent of customers ordering a Sterk Burger compared to the final election results of 8.09 percent of the province-wide electorate. The De Dutch customers for some reason had little appreciation for the James Burger but opted for the Other Burger, supporting these respectively at 23.36 percent and 18.25 percent while the final electoral data came in at 42.02 percent and 3.85 percent.

De Dutch President Bill Waring, who found it fun to reintroduce the 1960s original Hamburger Poll conceived by chain founder John Dys, enjoyed the restaurant visits of local candidates, the reminiscing about the original hamburger polls among long-time customers, the great interest the poll generated among younger customers and the delight among his customers who rediscovered the original Frying Dutchman Burgers, named after the original Dys family owned outlets, as a new De Dutch favourite.

Dys has conducted his hamburger polls at his outlets during provincial election campaigns for about 25 years, including a food concession at the annual Pacific National Exhibition.