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Online poll results 2010

Original Source: ALGARVE RESIDENT: 07 JANUARY 2011
Updated: 07-Jan-2011By DAISY SAMPSON
Questions relating to the Madeleine McCann case continue to generate a lot of response from readers worldwide.

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 reader response.

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 the year.

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.


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