NB – Please note that I wrote most of this post about a week ago but didn’t feel like it was finished for some reason. By rights the date on this ought to be 18th of June.
I’ve found an ajax polling system that takes one closed question, adds it to a database and serves back the results for the poll immediately. Exactly what I need. I had some trouble getting it to work but the basic problems I didn’t figure out myself were solved on this useful ubuntu forum discussion.