This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times results are now up here. Topline figures are CON 32%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%, with additional questions on a wide range of different issues:

Terrorism

33% of people think that Theresa May is doing well as Home Secretary, 41% badly (so her net score of minus 8 is slightly better than Cameron’s minus 13). Asked about the balance between protecting human rights and privacy and introducing anti-terrorism measures 37% think May should go further with anti-terrorism powers, 18% that she has gone too far and damaged human rights and privacy, 19% that she has the balance about right. Going through a list of the latest proposals there is support for all the new anti-terrorism measures, with most getting over 50% support. The few that do not (such as banning ransoms and extending TPIMs) are down to people saying don’t know rather than opposing the moves, there is still more support than opposition.

Immigration

Moving onto the issue of immigration, Nigel Farage continues to lead the other party leaders on the issue (Farage 21%, Cameron 18%, Miliband 12%… but 46% none of them or don’t know). On balance people think that EU immigration into Britain is bad for the country by 46% to 29%. However on balance people also think that we should accept it by 45% to 30% (30% think that it is bad and the government should break EU rules to limit it, 16% that it is bad but we need to follow the rules, 29% that it is good for the country and we should accept it). There would be widespread support for attempts to limit the right of EU migrants to claim benefits in Britain. 78% would support a block on out of work benefits for migrants who have been in Britain for less than 2 years, 72% would support a block on in work benefits.

Private Education

On balance 37% of people think that private schools are good for Britain, 48% think they are bad for Britain. Relatively few (19%) would actually support banning private schools, but on tax breaks people would happily go further than Labour have proposed – 27% would support a Labour style conditional withdrawal of tax breaks, but 46% think all private schools should lose their tax breaks anyway. The “class war” criticism of Labour’s private schools policy doesn’t seem to hold much water. Only 28% of people think Labour’s proposals are based on negative reasons and a desire to punish the wealthy. 45% think they have made the proposals for positive reasons.

House of Lords

A large majority of people (74%) would support moving to a wholly (43%) or partially (31%) elected House of Lords – pretty much unchanged from when YouGov last asked in 2012. Asked about how members of the Lords are paid, 15% think they should receive a salary, 51% that they should be paid for the specific hours and resources that they use, 18% that they should receive no payment, allowances or expenses at all. Just 7% support the current system of a daily allowance.

Class and political snobbery

People who consider themselves as middle class think that the Conservatives best represent people of their class, people who consider themselves to be working class think that Labour best represent their class. 70% of people think that most politicians look down upon ordinary people. This seem to be especially the case with David Cameron – 63% think he looks down on ordinary people, compared to 46% for Ed Miliband, 49% for Nick Clegg and 41% for Nigel Farage. Asked specifically about Emily Thornberry’s tweet from Rochester, 47% of people think she was being snobby, 26% think she was not.


196 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 32, LAB 34, LDEM 7, UKIP 15, GRN 6”

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  1. BB

    If we roll back to 92 guts were busted to stop Kinnock from winning only for Major to disappoint and some would say betray the Thatcher legacy. That will not happen after the next election. Press freedom, lower taxes for the wealth creators, more flexible emoyment laws, and a completely open debate on the European question will be the result. I would think that us what most Tory MPs would want anyway.

  2. @Johnkay

    If Pressman is to be believed (very big if), a small clique of media owners is conspiring to subvert the course of democracy.

    Read the Lance Price book – ‘Where Power Lies: Prime Ministers V the Media’ – and you will see this is actually quite an old concept.

  3. Camanjeff

    I hope you are correct and Pressman is talking about an old concept.
    The world has moved on since 92.
    None of the main parties leaders are trusted.
    I remember in 92 a lot of people saying Major deserved a chance, after only been leader a short time, and that was in my opinion, one of the main drivers to the conservatives 19 seat majority.
    I have never heard that said as yet about Cameron, I guess in a lot of peoples minds, he has had a long time at the top of politics.

  4. @Catmanjeff

    Thanks for the tip. I’ll put in on my Christmas list. (Last year my stocking bulged with Ivor Crewe / Tony King’s ‘Blunders of our governments’ which – to return the favour – I’d heartily recommend).

  5. @Dez

    We live in an age when most of the establishment is trusted very little, and that’s on a good day.

    I suspect most people think a link between the media and politicians is like blending two different nests of vipers.

    The media only hold power when the public believe it does. This illusion of power is held by a handful of media barons, and I think their power is busted.

  6. Mr S of political betting has quite an interesting take on Labour.

    ” By my reckoning LAB, based on the Lord Ashcroft polling of the marginals, could be on target to make at least 50 gains or more from CON and the LDs at GE2015. More LAB possibles might come into the frame when Lord A has polled seats with CON majorities higher up target list.

    The big shadow hanging over the red team is that it currently has 41 seats in Scotland many of which could now be in jeopardy following the post-IndyRef SNP surge. What is hard to get a handle on is how many are vulnerable.

    For LAB could find itself chalking up a reasonable number of gains south of the border only to find these being almost offset by losses in Scotland.
    I’ve been very cautious about Scottish UNS swing projections for the simple reason that the IndyRef showed very different outcomes in different parts of the country. In areas where YES came out with smaller numbers you would assume that the SNP is making less progress than those where it did well. The political landscape there has changed and national data does not suffice.

    We await Lord A’s next round which hopefully will include some Scottish constituencies.

  7. @Johnkay

    Thanks for the tip back :-)

  8. “Odd comment really, given that Cameron has just announced pretty much the same policies as Milliband did a while ago…”

    ———

    Hence the difficulty in Labour announcing policies early. (Except in circumstances where one might wish to shift the grounds of debate…)

  9. It’s funny. Today at 4.46 p.m. Pressman posts that the NHS announcements are something we (his newspaper presumably) can trumpet.

    I could have sworn that a few weeks ago he described the NHS as a money-guzzling behemoth that should be sold off.

    A week or two is a long time in politics?

  10. On Public Schools…

    Dunno Crossbat’s age, but in the era of the Grammar, when selection was widespread in the State sector and people could get a fair chunk of the Public School approach for free at a Grammar, it may have been a bit more likely folk chose public schools instead for the supposed “cachet”.

    After the demise of the Grammar, many felt they had to do something when the state education on offer locally left quite something to be desired.

    But the problem, as I have said before, is this. If you say “why shouldn’t parents be able to do the best for their children?!” that sounds fine.

    But the difficult circle to square is that it is at the same time buying advantage over other children…

    It’s a subset of the problem with Capital. Rewarding the industrious seems a good idea. But if then those rewards allow them to stack the deck against others…

    In an ideal world, we would have rewards and incentives that do not result in deck-stacking…

  11. Most voters dont realise how the tories coordinate thru the sun,mail,times and telegraph,I suppose becos most of us only read one paper.Crosby and osborne determine the line and miraculously the papers print it.

    Some elements are wheeled out every election eg personal abuse of the labour leader -tho this varies in effect depending on the personality and the public perception of that individual.

    However the internet and programmes like skys press preview make the strategy pretty obvious.

    The difference this time is that some sections of the press are going to support ukip ,express and daily star will defo and the sun will be ambivalent-murdoch hates cameron but he wants the referendum as he hates the EU more.

    Some bloggers inc paul staines/guido fawkes are also showing ukip tendencies.He seems to have george osborne in his sights.

  12. @Dieselhead

    “I can see where you are coming from but “shortage”, compared to what? How do you know what the equilibrium number is and what is the “right” number compared to the equilibrium.”

    Sure, it’s not an exact science. The point I’m making is innovation leading to increased productivity is the key (and I’d say only) source of increased prosperity long term so policy needs to be geared to that.

  13. “Crosby and osborne determine the line and miraculously the papers print it.”

    And that strategy is doing *so* well in the polls. Tory VI has been essentially static for 2 1/2 years. #CameronMustGo has been trend at the top of Twitter for more than a week. It simply isn’t working. A sufficiently large proportion of the electorate is sick of Cameron that there is no chance of a Tory victory.

  14. @johnkay

    Where were all the non-indy complaints about the press during the referendum?

    Sow and reap.

  15. @Catmanjeff

    You shouldn’t be so critical of Pressman, given that you and he want the same, I think. Namely for the Greens to do well at the expense of Labour. In his case it’s a case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend….”

  16. @Statty

    I think a few of the Scots peeps might have mentioned it!! A few times. Maybe a few more…

  17. Different peeps have different issues with Pressman. AW doesn’t like the spokesman thing for example. Personally, I’d welcome more new info. rather than the repetition. We are not goldfish, after a few hundred repetitions we get the hang of summat, surely…

  18. @Candy
    @MrJones

    It wasn’t labour shortages that caused the rampant stagflation issues in the Seventies. It was the quadrupling of the price of oil, and then a further doubling in a second shock later.

    If you look at the data, inflation shot up in many countries around the world in tandem with the oil price hikes after the Yom Kippur war. And then again in tbe late Seventies as the second oil shock hit.

    And the strikes were a perfectly understandable response to seeing their members’ pay packets wrecked by that inflation, coupled with Labour’s policy of wage restraint to curb inflation.

    Wage restraint worked as a policy to bring down inflation without the economic downsides of other measures. By 1978 inflation had fallen to 8% from a high of 25%, and the economy was growing again, the spiralling deficit inherited from Heath was under control, and Labour were doing OK in the polls.

    Then the second oil shock hit, hitting wage packets again, the unions felt compelled to break ranks on wage restraint, with the resulting Winter of Discontent, and the history.

    (A history which often has the impact of the oil crisis written out of it…)

  19. (…with the resulting Winter of Discontent, and the rest is history…)

  20. @Shaun

    Not Barking, I wouldn’t think. Probably Kensington.

  21. @Phil

    I can assure you that @Pressman’s vision of the direction of the UK post GE is my version of hell. :-)

  22. @Catman

    But on the bright side, there may be a few more peeps voting green!!…

  23. “…more flexible employment laws…”

    Are zero contract hours insufficient? Is it possible to go further and have negative hours contracts??…

  24. Number Cruncher

    Graham on a previous thread said that [@YL] on the Vote UK site had “analysed the [Doncaster North] data and suggests that it bears no relation to 2010 past vote weighting and seriously speculates as to whether data from two seats has been mixed up!”. Looking at YL’s comment

    http://vote-2012.proboards.com/post/205207/thread

    The Doncaster North figures indeed look odd. They seem to weighted to the targets:

    Con 42% (21)

    Lab 30% (47)

    Lib Dem 14% (15)

    Others 15% (17)

    No wonder Ed’s under threat – apparently he lost in 2010!

    I have checked the Ashcroft targets for Sheffield Hallam and Thanet South and they match the 2010 results fairly exactly. Sometimes pollsters adjust targets to take into account false recall (ICM does) but not in this case. So Ashcroft’s figures have indeed been weighted out of skew dramatically. In contrast the unweighted figures are actually nearer the 2010 result (Con 20, Lab 64, LD 8, Other 7).

    I though I would try to re-weight the figures to the actual result as the other two have been and got the following result:

    Con 13%

    Lab 53%

    Lib Dem 5%

    UKIP 24%

    Others 5%

    This seems more plausible and echos the pattern of transfers from 2010. And not even the most implausible tactical voting will threaten Miliband’s election.

    YL also said that:

    the Sheffield Hallam and South Thanet headline figures appear to be based on reallocating 100% of don’t knows and refusers to their former parties. Without this re-allocation Farage is ahead and Clegg is behind; I’d estimate that with a 50% reallocation South Thanet would be pretty much tied and Clegg would still be slightly behind.

    Again this seems to be true. For Hallam and Thanet the difference between tables 9 and 10, caused by the reallocation matches the total of Don’t knows and Refuseds pretty exactly allowing for rounding. That at least is for Con, Lab and Lib Dem. There is no reallocation at all for the other Parties, though its difficult to tell individually as the 2010 vote question lumps them all together

    The situation with Doncaster North is more complex with the percentage being reallocated varying by Party, including more than 100% for Labour (though this may be confused by the weighting problem above). There is also some reallocation for the other Parties, though again uncheckable.

    It’s true that Lord Ashcroft’s summary only says that ‘a proportion’ of the DKs and Refused are reallocated, but I don’t think anyone thinks 100% is the right percentage. ICM use 50% and Populus used to use 50% for Lab and Con and 30% for Lib Dems, based on previous elections. If you take ICM’s 50% and recalculate you get:

    Sheffield Hallam

    Con 19%

    Lab 30%

    Lib Dem 29%

    UKIP 13%

    Green 10%

    Thanet South

    Con 33%

    Lab 26%

    Lib Dem 6%

    UKIP 32%

    Green 3%

    So YL is right and both are very close, with Clegg actually behind and the Con’s 5 point lead evaporating (Thanet might be even closer with accurate 2010 UKIP).

    I feel slightly sorry for Lord A here[1], as it looks as if he is manipulating the figures to boost the coalition parties and do down Labour and UKIP. What actually seems to have happened is that these three constituencies were done with different format for the tables – the layout differs and there is the extra table showing the full table after reallocation rather than just the headline figures as previously. The spreadsheet formulae are presumably wrong or mis-copied, especially on Doncaster North[2] or data has been copied across and not corrected.

    These reallocation processes do seem to be prone to these problems – Survation’s last two lots of GB VI tables were an even bigger mess, though in both cases at least we have the tables published to show it.

    There’s actually a good argument that Ashcroft’s constituency question shouldn’t be reallocated at all as it also acts as a squeeze question in the same way as reallocation does, so you’re effectively reallocating people who have already done so themselves. There’s also the problem that is you reallocate 50% you’re assuming the other half won’t vote (or will do so pro-rata across all the Parties) which seems unlikely.

    [1] Only slightly mind. The same thing happened with his weekly polls when the first showed (for that time) an untypical Con lead. Everyone shouted ‘fix’ when it was just MoE.

    [2] There are a few other oddities. For example the 2010 recalled voted has identical numbers and sex breakdown for DK to both questions (ie DK if voted and DK how if did).

  25. Miserable Old Git

    Pimlico, I’ld say at a pinch, but frequents the pubs in Chelsea and Westminster.

    CARFREW
    Re the choice of public v. grammar schools, a matter of risk management in getting good teaching, rather than snob value, I judge; in my grammar school the A stream parents paid something, and were all slated to get good grades, we in the B stream were the strictly scholarship kids, as were the C stream who for whatever reason were duds and expected to get low grades or fail. Many would argue that nation-wide comprehensives, converting the best public schools to six form colleges, were and remain the answer. All the rest is fiddling with policy and resources for special interests, including the educational pursuit of “excellence” in preference to universal good.

  26. A report on the student vote which will be of interest to Mr Nameless and Ben I expect

    http://www.hepi.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/30-Nov-text-pdf.pdf

    They expect Labour and the Tories to gain at the expense of the Lib Dems vs 2010

    Con+9, Lab +5, LD -11 vs the 2010 student vote

    Some quotes

    “Many of the students who voted Green at the Euros appear to intend voting Labour instead at the 2015 general election”

    But the Green party won the student vote in the Euro elections, and we haven’t seen them decline in main polls since then…

    “The biggest gap between the voting intentions of students and others is for the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which continues to remain about half as popular among students as it is among other voters. This is primarily because students are much less likely than others to hold the kind of Eurosceptic, anti-immigrant and socially-authoritarian views espoused by the party”

  27. Another quote from that report

    ” The difference between student and non-student voting at the European Parliament elections in the table is most striking for UKIP and the Greens. While UKIP won the share of the vote overall, among students they were the fifth largest party with a vote share of 11 per cent, about a third of the size of that for the party among non-students. Meanwhile, the Greens were much more popular among students than others.The student:other gaps for the three main parties are not statistically significant. This means that the Liberal Democrats’ large advantage among students in 2009 has been at least much diminished if not almost entirely lost.”

    So it sounds like the student vote will be a fight between Labour and the Greens in 2015.

  28. @John P

    Well, there are a number of reasons for choosing a public school, beyond academic performance due to selection and streaming etc., including…

    – “cachet”
    – Ancestral links and tradition
    – certain specialisms, eg particular sports, military etc.
    – extra resources not available to most grammars
    – if parents have careers that move them around a lot
    – or they work abroad and want a Brit education for their sprogs
    – the idea of toughening sprogs up etc., (and at one time, preparation for Empire service!!)
    – removal of teenage distractions
    – most staff being Oxbridge, know what Oxbridge requires

    etc. etc.

    Nationwide academies would be unlikely to fulfil all of this, especially if not boarding.

    Regarding streaming, at public school, because of both selection and small class sizes, there was hyper-streaming, with ability levels in each class very closely matched, making teaching much easier, and small class sizes allowed for setting much more homework, since fewer pupils means you can set more work per pupil for the same overall amount of marking.

  29. @John P

    To give an example of the streaming thing, because it’s stuff I’ve never seen others talk about…

    say you have 60 pupils.

    In state sector, you might put them in 2 classes of 30.

    In the public school, it might be 5 classes of 12 each…

    And the public school has already selected in the first place, from a national pool…

  30. In other words, five classes means much tighter streaming than just two classes (and more homework!!)

  31. MOG

    Or Clapham.

    CARFREW

    there are a number of reasons for choosing a public school, beyond academic performance due to selection and streaming etc., including…

    – “cachet”
    – Ancestral links and tradition
    – certain specialisms, eg particular sports, military etc.
    – extra resources not available to most grammars
    …….
    ……
    – the idea of toughening sprogs up etc., (and at one time, preparation for Empire service!!)
    – removal of teenage distractions
    – most staff being Oxbridge, know what Oxbridge requires

    etc. etc

    Taking out your “– if parents have careers that move them around a lot
    – or they work abroad and want a Brit education for their sprogs” – which in previous threads others have pointed out, are provided in the state sector, and could, of course, easily be – I am mainly interested in the evidence this list provides of the investment we make in conspicuous consumption as a prestige system, of no earthly use to the economy as she is spoke in 2015.

  32. @John P

    Boarding might be provided in the State sector, for example for children in special circumstances, but how many examples do you have where it is combined with selection etc.

    I agree the State sector COULD provide it, but I am not seeking to defend the Public School system. Simply pointing out parents may have legitimiate reasons beyond prestige for going private.

    “Cachet” might be considered conspicuous consumption or prestige, but the rest has a utility beyond prestige.

    Extra resources, specialisms, Oxbridge awareness, removal of distraction etc. has definite utility.

    For some, tradition and the nature of the independent existence does too.

  33. Good early morning everyone.
    I think the Labour Party’s ‘attack’ on the Private Sector will not gain many votes.
    Parents tend to know that in the middle sets within the State Sector the pupil behaviour is often very poor, as recent OFSTED reports have stated. This reduces staff morale and the experience of pupils is damaged,,
    My wife and I chose the Private School route for our four children, since the Voluntary Aided School in our area was of doubtful quality.
    I think that the ‘very able’ pupils do tend to do very well in the Comprehensive Sector. The tranche of pupils below top sets tend to be short changed.
    The abolition of Grammar Schools under Crosland, Thatcher and Williams, who sent their own to Public School, saved the Independent sector.

  34. Adge3

    Most of us on the Right do not want to see the NHS continue in it’s present form but tabloid readership remains solidly behind the public health system.

  35. MISERABLE OLD GIT
    @Shaun
    Not Barking, I wouldn’t think. Probably Kensington.

    Hehehehe!

  36. @ PHIL HAINES 11:07 pm
    @Catmanjeff
    You … want … the Greens to do well at the expense of Labour.

    I don’t know where the evidence is that Catmanjeff wants that: it might be he, as I, would like Greens to do well at the expense of the LibDems and their partners in crioalition.

    It might be that political positioning makes it less likely that Greens will take significant chunks of votes of the Tories than Labour, but that doesn’t mean Greens wouldn’t like to take votes off them, and UKIP and …

  37. @ROGER MEXICO
    That looks worrying. I recall that Ashcroft was invited to join BPC but iirc isn’t a member. Can anyone confirm/deny?

  38. “You cannot put women and men on an equal footing. It is against nature.”

    Recep Tayyip Erdogan
    President of Turkey.

    Turkey is a European Country & a member of NATO.

    !

  39. These bloody sound adverts are an unwarranted intrusion-it only happens to me on UKPR.

  40. The Beeb website has an interesting article about how and why folk vote the way they do. I like this snippet :-

    “People are always ready to express an opinion – even on subjects they know nothing about. In a recent survey, 15% of people said they were either for or against the Monetary Control Bill. The Monetary Control Bill does not exist”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-30129990

  41. Colin, just turn the volume off or down on your computer or block all ads.

  42. The earlier posts on Hallam weighting and the student vote do indeed make for interesting reading. Many students in Sheffield know that Hallam is a Lib Dem seat, but not that Clegg is the MP there. Making them aware will be crucial to winning their votes.

    The weighting factor makes the Sheffield Hallam campaign justified in calling it neck-and-neck, I feel. It was very tempting to put the standard VI figures on the leaflets with LDs on 17%!

    Anyway, do any of you have a Times paywall subscription so you can give us the gist of this: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4283332.ece

  43. The Government is announcing 15Bn of traffic infrastructure improvements, while Labour pursue an extension of the cost of living angle, to take in impact on tbe deficit.

    From the beeb…

    “His party has commissioned work from the House of Commons Library suggesting that, over the course of this parliament, income tax receipts were £66bn less than forecast, National Insurance contributions were £25.5bn lower than expected and welfare spending on those in work was £25bn higher than planned.

    Meanwhile, the number of working people claiming housing benefit rose by more than 400,000 between May 2010 and May 2014, at a cost to the taxpayer of £1.4bn.

    Labour says that, because less tax is being brought in and an increase in people in low-paid jobs is pushing up the welfare and the housing benefit bills, government borrowing is higher than expected.

    The resulting £116.5bn bill is the equivalent of nearly £4,000 per taxpayer, it says. ”

    The Telegraph doesn’t seem to have a headline on the cost of living thing, but they’ve analysed the roads thing and say that two-thirds of the schemes are in Tory or LibDem marginals. We shall see if any swingback occurs…

  44. LIZH

    Thanks-yep -have turned the sound down.

    I just find it very intrusive .

  45. @Colin

    That could be ‘cos it’s supposed to be intrusive…

  46. Two things on Private education.

    Firstly I have nothing against them in terms of what they do, but even though they educate people at that is a good think I think as they operate as businesses they should be taxed as such, so no rates relief.

    The second issue comes from looking at a data table I got from the guardian;

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/t5uHVsrUGJg2DauG1SVnk_g/htmlview

    What stuck me was that not only have less than 10% of Armed forces officers gone to Comprehensive schools but that their were no figures for Armed forces officers who have gone to University.

    Now the latter could just be because it was difficult to get figures but I think we should at least consider if we are seeing officers children going to boarding schools for forces children going on to private schools with a military ethos and then straight to officer training to follow in the family tradition.

    Nothing wrong with that unless it’s tarts to create an inbuilt bias on the part of our service chiefs that makes them blinkered to change and advocates of their own service in the face of the facts.

    So the admirals defend the navy and the generals defend the army because from infancy they have been taught to believe that it is the most important thing in the world.

    We often question the idea of professional politicians who have no real experience of the wider world, but what if we have professional solders who don’t or can’t understand the wider world?

    Over the last tenth years the Army has borne the brunt of our military efforts while over the next twenty years we are planning to give the Navy six times the army procurement budget!

    Peter.

  47. Apologies for the above I really do need to proof read rather than rely on the spell checker…. But hopefully you’ll get the idea!.

    Peter.

  48. @MrNameless

    There is a similar article in the paper not to be mentioned entitled “University fee hike to cost coalition in marginal seats, researchers find”.

  49. @Roger Mexico

    You offer some fascinating insights in your early morning post on the ‘laundering’ of figures in the Ashcroft polls recently conducted in the party leaders’ constituencies. Everyone accepts that the raw figures have to be adjusted for sampling biases and very few of us (I suspect) sense any foul play in how this is handled by reputable pollsters. But your comments do drive home the need to keep a watch on things. Perhaps even the UKPR community is sometimes a little too ready to accept the headline figures without dwelling too long on the tinkering that goes on behind the scenes.

    Talking of discrepancies between headline summaries and raw numbers, I am still a bit bemused by the apparently unsystematic use of raw material in some of these marginal polls. As you and others pointed out in response to a question of mine last week, virtually none of the conclusions in Lord A’s summary were based on the VIs expressed in response to the standard polling question (i.e., Question 2 in the survey). Rather, what he chose to highlight was the VI patterns for Question 3 (the one starting with the preamble about “your own constituency”). Anthony Wells tacitly endorsed this decision in posting his own summary of the results on this site.

    As we saw on this occasion it makes a great deal of difference which aspects of the raw materials make it to the ‘headlines’ when filtered by the experts. Based on Q3 data we had a summary of the form: “Tough time ahead for the Tories: LibDems set to hold all but two of this set of marginal seats.” Had we used Q2 data instead, the story would have been: “LibDem disaster: set to lose every seat polled this month”.

    I happen to agree that there is a good case for placing most reliance on the Q3 data. But I was surprised that there was so little discussion of this apparent change in reporting conventions, and that so little attention was paid to the standard measures.

    If Q3 is universally regarded as more informative in these seats, why doesn’t it become the standard question we use in all constituencies? (Perhaps it is already, and I just haven’t been paying enough attention to the steps routinely interpolated between the raw figures and the numbers that find their way into the press statements).

    If Q2 VIs understate incumbency effects (as the recent Lord A polls seemed to show) are the national polls underestimating Tory prospects?

  50. @ Colin

    Erdogan is one of Orban’s heroes – and he runs an EU country (his other heroes include Putin and the president of Azerbaijan whose name escapes me, and I’m not in the mood to google it).

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