Questions relating to the Madeleine McCann
case continue to generate
a lot of response from
After a year of
controversial government plans and wary speculation about the state of
the economy there were certain topics that created considerable waves
throughout 2010, reflected in the results of the weekly Algarve Resident
online poll results.
Every week the Algarve Resident runs an online poll asking readers to
give us their views on the news from
wherever they are in the world and during 2010 more than 8,000 readers
let us know their opinion on the hottest news topics of each week.
The results of the polls showed that there were some subjects that the
readers were very clear about and others that were split right down the
middle, while there were a few top stories that generated a very high
Topping the online poll chart in 2010
were questions relating to the case of Madeleine McCann. Although
Madeleine disappeared from her family holiday
apartment in Praia da Luz in 2007, the
subject of her disappearance and subsequent court cases, books,
documentaries and speculations have continued to keep the case in the
news both nationally and internationally.
The most responded to question of the entire year was posed in the March
5 edition of the Algarve Resident and asked 'Should Portuguese police be
held accountable for withholding potentially useful information from the
McCanns' private investigators'' and over three quarters of the readers
voted that they should (76%).
Another majority vote saw 80% of readers claiming that they were not surprised by the WikiLeaks revelations about
Madeleine in the December 10 Algarve Resident after the story was
published regarding confidential details of a conversation between the
US and British Ambassadors about the case.
Voters were split, however, when it came to the issue of banning the
book written by former lead
police investigator Goncalo Amaral, asked in the January 15 edition,
with 46% saying that it should be banned while 54% thought that it
should remain on the shelves.
The planned publication of a book by the McCann family about the case
during 2011 will be sure to keep the case of the missing British girl in
the headlines for the coming months and response to any future polls on
the subject will help to gauge if this continues to be a very high
interest story for readers.
Visitors and residents of the region were informed of the impending
implementation of tolls on the A22 motorway in May and the story of the
protests, political reaction and possible implications for the economy
of the entire region made this one of the most talked about subjects of
In the May 28 edition of the Algarve Resident, we asked if readers
thought that tolls should be introduced on the A22 and this proved to be
our second most answered question of the year indicating the increased
level of interest in the issue.
Of the respondents 22% voted that tolls should be imposed, 67% voted
against and 10% were undecided.
Following extensive coverage about the proposal and the Algarve Resident
Say No to Tolls campaign, the same question was asked again in the
September 17 edition and the results, which received an almost identical
number of voters, showed that opinion had changed and now 16% of voters
agreed with the tolls and a majority of 84% were against the tolls, a
swing of 17% in public opinion
against the controversial plans.
There are currently more than 9,800 names on the public petition against
the tolls on the A22 and support against the measures continues to grow
so the subject will remain a priority for the region until the tolls
either go ahead as planned on April 15 or are quashed by the opposition.
Online polls from the Algarve Resident are diverse in their scope
reflecting the nature of the news in the region and the readership of
the paper, however, animals and animal welfare continue to remain a
subject of concern and interest.
During 2010 several questions were posed on these issues including
asking if readers believe that bullfights should be banned in Portugal,
with 75% saying that they should. It was also asked if the hunting laws
should be changed and 64% of voters agreed with this while the emotive
question of if stray dogs should be put down by councils saw a huge
reader response with 61% being against this idea.
Poll statistics varied throughout the year with each question provoking
a different response but there were some questions that readers were
more united in their opinion.
An overwhelming majority of 94% of the voters felt that people who
dropped litter should face harsh penalties while 87% of readers felt
that the Pope had not done enough following the sexual abuse scandal.
Other questions saw the voters split almost evenly with 49% of readers
believing that new security
measures announced by the government to
increase security in the Algarve would affect crime levels in the region
while 51% disagreed.
Despite some negative reports about the region, readers still have
confidence in the Algarve and enjoy the region as reflected in the 88%
of voters who consider the climate here preferable to other countries
and, while times may be harder here than most can ever remember, the
majority of resident voters (68%) said in July that they do not intend
to leave the Algarve.