Ten weeks to go

Here are this week’s polls.

YouGov/S Times (20/2) – CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%
Opinium/Observer (20/2) – CON 35%, LAB 33%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 15%, GRN 7%
Populus (22/2) – CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%
Ashcroft (22/2) – CON 32%, LAB 36%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 11%, GRN 8%
Survation/Mirror(23/2) – CON 28%, LAB 34%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 19%, GRN 4%
ComRes/Mail (23/2) – CON 34%, LAB 32%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 8%
YouGov/Sun (23/2) – CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 7%
YouGov/Sun (24/2) – CON 35%, LAB 33%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 14%, GRN 7%
YouGov/Sun (25/2) – CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%
YouGov/Sun (26/2) – CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%
Populus (27/2) – CON 31%, LAB 33%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 16%, GRN 6%

The voting intention polls are continuing to show the same stasis we’ve had for the whole of the year so far, Con and Lab almost neck and neck, Labour just a smidgin ahead. Of this week’s polls five showed Labour leads, three Tory leads, three with a draw. The UKPR polling average is wholly unchanged from last week, remaining on CON 32%(nc), LAB 33%(nc), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 15%(nc), GRN 6%(nc). Perhaps the most notable change among some very unnotable polls was a change in who commissioned them – ComRes had been the pollsters for the Independent since 2006, but this week switched their monthly telephone poll over to the Daily Mail (they will continue to carry out online polls for the Independent’s Sunday stablemate).

Scottish, London and Constituency polls

TNS put out a new Scottish poll this morning with topline figures for Westminster voting intention of CON 14%(-2), LAB 30%(-1), LDEM 3%(-1), SNP 46%(+5), UKIP 3%(+1) (tabs). The previous TNS poll had shown an SNP lead of only ten points, this TNS poll is far more similar to the Scottish figures being shown by other companies.

YouGov put out a new London poll earlier in the week for the Times with topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 42%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 9%, GRN 6%. This gives Labour an eight point lead in the London, but given they won the vote in London at the 2010 electon is actually a slightly smaller Con>Lab swing that in the country as a whole. I wrote more about the poll here.

Finally there was a new Survation poll of Thanet South for UKIP donor Alan Bown, showing Nigel Farage with an eleven point lead. This compares with the Lord Ashcroft poll of Thanet South last November that had, once corrected, shown Farage one point behind the Conservatives. It may be that UKIP have managed to open up a lead in Thanet South since November, but there were also substantial methodological differences between the two polls – the new Survation poll prompted using the candidates names, which may well have helped Nigel Farage as the most well known of the candidates. There were also differences in weighting – Lord Ashcroft weights by recalled vote and by social class, whereas Survation don’t; Survation weight by council wards within the constituency whereas Ashcroft doesn’t. Finally there were don’t knows – Survation exclude them, Ashcroft assumes some vote for the party they did last time. And of course, this is a poll commissioned by a party – that should make no difference to how the poll is done (apart from adding candidate names this is Survation’s regular methodology), but it brings with it publication bias: if parties commission polls and don’t like the results, they don’t publish them.

Week 8

  • Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind were caught in a newspaper sting on MPs taking second jobs. Rifkind stepped down, Ed Miliband promised a ban on second jobs. YouGov polling found only 26% thought that MPs having second jobs helped keep them in touch and was better than full time politicians, 60% thought they should concentrate on their main job and second jobs risked corruption. 54% would support a ban on MPs having second jobs.
  • Immigration figures came out showing net immigration way above David Cameron’s stated ambition to reduce it to “tens of thousands”. I suspect the Conservatives failure to meet the target has long been accepted by the public and priced into their opinion though – early last year the proportion of people thinking it was likely the government would hit their target had already fallen to just 9%. Still, coverage of immigration will likely keep UKIP’s strongest issue high on the agenda.
  • Labour announced their policy on tuition fees. On the principle of who should pay for higher education the public are actually quite evenly split – 43% think it should be paid from general taxation, 42% that students should pay it through tuition fees or a graduate tax. For a reduction in the level of tuition fees though I expect Labour will get the thumbs up – in December YouGov found people were in favour of a reduction in tuition fees by 54% to 21%, even if it meant less funding for universities
  • And the debate debate struggled onwards. At the weekend the papers quietly suggested that the debates may now be dead, on Monday the broadcasters announced the order of the debates (the two big ones first, followed by the Cameron-v-Miliband head to head). For the moment though, it seems to have gone quiet.

Projections

The latest forecasts from Election Forecast, May 2015 and Elections Etc are below, along with the Guardian’s new election projection. As usual, everyone is projecting an extremely hung Parliament, with the two main parties close together in seat numbers.

Elections Etc – Hung Parliament, CON 279(-2), LAB 283(+1), LD 23(nc), SNP 40(nc), UKIP 3(nc)
Election Forecast – Hung Parliament, CON 285(+3), LAB 276(-4), LD 27(+2), SNP 39(-1), UKIP 1(-1)
May 2015 – Hung Parliament, CON 270(+4), LAB 271(-4), LD 26(nc), SNP 56(nc), UKIP 4(nc)
Guardian – Hung Parliament, CON 275, LAB 271, LD 27, SNP 51, UKIP 4


375 Responses to “Ten weeks to go”

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  1. @ Anthony Wells

    Would not a better statistical formula be to assign “don’t knows” and refusers to some kind of proportion to how the UKIP and Green core vote has changed and the LD votes has declined?

  2. @Andy Shadrack

    You are entirely right. It’s all gibberish if the polls are distorted by unwarranted corrections for ‘don’t know’ or ‘won’t say’ responses. My calculations take the historical (and more recent) polling data as a given and if the public figures cannot be trusted then we certainly can’t place any confidence in the figures derived from them.

    Have there not been opportunities for these procedures to be benchmarked against real voting outcomes? It seems likely to me that if systematic biases had been detected in such tests, the pollsters would have quickly adjusted their methods to avoid the embarrassment of mispredictung future elections and by elections. Are you suggesting that you think this might have passed them by entirely?

  3. spearmint

    So the idea that [Murphy]’d risk his career on an all-or-nothing gambit like this because he can’t stomach the thought of opposition strikes me as pretty fanciful.

    I rather get the impression that Murphy feels that he is not as appreciated as he would like to be by the current Labour leadership and that his prospects may be better in Scotland than at Westminster, given that the latter is zero. It may also be that Miliband forced him into standing with the thought that they needed a fall guy and he couldn’t think of anyone better he’d rather push off.

    Of course it could also be that Murphy is hoping that with his usually enthusiastic media support, he can make a comeback for the GB Labour leadership after May. “Ed failed completely and only managed to gain 30 seats in England while Jim managed only lose 30 in Scotland. Surely Jim is the right person to lead Labour to where it should be. Oblivion! (Did we say that last bit out loud?)”. Certainly you suspect that everything that goes wrong will be blamed on Miliband and anything short of obliteration claimed as a Murphy success.

    Or Murphy may indeed be delusional. But remember that when he decided to stand for the leadership, Labour were still convinced that after their failed flirtation with independence, the Scots would decide to come back to their true love. There would be continued dominance at Westminster with the SNP only picking some Lib Dem seats and with a ‘charismatic’ leader (which we all know is the only thing a Political Party needs) hope of regaining power in 2016. Even if not said leader could bale out of his Holyrood list seat (not even a by-election required) and resume life in London.

    In truth Wile E Coyote[1] had long before run over the cliff, but it only seems to be the Ashcroft polls that have forced many in Labour to look down. Amber recently said that Labour weren’t in panic mode, and in a sense she is right in that many in the Party still seem to be in denial or going though the usual rituals, like Skinner’s pigeons, convinced that they will save them as before. Hence the endless cries of “If you vote SNP, the evil Tories will get you”.

    Mind you, even if Labour are obliterated in the constituencies in 2015 and 2016, the last lifeboat remaining will be being top of a regional list in Scotland. So if you want to continue a life in politics, making sure you have that escape is always going to be reassuring.

    [1] According to Wiki the character was based on a Mark Twain description of “the coyote as ‘a long, slim, sick and sorry-looking skeleton’ that is ‘a living, breathing allegory of Want'”. I’m saying nothing.

  4. Re: Swingback

    May I suggest that when thinking about the S-Theory we keep in mind the limits of predictions based on it. Fisher’s figures should all have “plus or minus 4.5%” added to them, for example. That is the same as predicting any result between Labour and Tory landslides. It also implies that “anti-swingback” could easily happen without S-Theory being fundamentally challenged.

    Not that I’m damning it as a theory, you understand. Just saying.

  5. COLIN

    ” In previous polling, however, YouGov has found that British people are divided over whether the cost of university education should mainly be paid for through general taxation (43%) or by students themselves (42%).”

    YouGov

    This actually rather misleading (though I’m not blaming you). The actual results of the survey:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/qu0s2jd72c/InternalResults_150204_universities_Website2.pdf

    were about the question Thinking about the cost of university education, do you think…

    It should be mainly paid for by the government, through general taxes like income tax and VAT 43%

    It should be mainly paid for by students who go to university, through tuition fees or a graduate tax 42%

    Not sure 15%

    So the 42% includes a graduate tax which many people would see as being more along the lines of a ‘general tax’ though not applying to everyone (but then what tax does?).

  6. ROGER MEXICO

    Enjoyed reading you comment and the crux of it all is Labour are in denial and can’t see or wont accept the thrashing ahead of them in Scotland.
    …………….

    “According to Wiki the character was based on a Mark Twain description of “the coyote as ‘a long, slim, sick and sorry-looking skeleton’ that is ‘a living, breathing allegory of Want’”. I’m saying nothing.”
    ______

    And I got moderated for using “The Slenderman”

  7. @AC

    That may seem unfair, but you have to remember that Roger M’s quote was funny

  8. NumbrCrunchrPolitics [email protected] · 12 mins12 minutes ago
    Opinium/Observer:

    CON 34 (-1)
    LAB 35 (+2)
    LIB 6 (=)
    UKIP 14 (-1)
    GRN 6 (-1)

    Fieldwork 24th-27th

  9. OLDNAT
    Allan Christie
    “I wonder where they got those “polls” from? Maybe an old Election Forecast prediction? (currently L39 C28 S26).”

    “However, it will be interesting to see how much these individual seat projections are going to be used as “objective” justifications for “Only Party X can beat Party Y here” campaigning”
    ______

    I’m still waiting for a reply from the BNews and I doubt they carried out the poll themselves. Probably got wind of some party private polling is my guess.

    Only party X can beat Party Y here will be blown wide open when them little Ashcroft polls come filtering through the rocks because with all them minerals and natural filtering processes the truth will be as pure as the good lord himself.

  10. Scots no better at rugby

  11. Roger Mexico: considering that a large percentage of the university graduates will never fully repay their tuition fee loans before the debt is cancelled, the current system is “de facto”, for many people, a graduate tax that applies for a fixed period of time; That was pointed out by several analysts during the debate about fees versus a graduate tax.

  12. @Roger Mexico

    I suspect Jim Murphy believes his future lies at Holyrood and not at Westminster. At Holyrood he will lead the second largest party. At Westminster he has no leadership future at all, however the GE goes.

    Labour’s target in Scotland at the GE is to retain a sufficient number of seats to end up clearly the largest party in the UK (let’s say a lead of at least 20 seats). This (together with a likely lead in overall votes) will put tremendous moral pressure on DC to resign.

  13. Opinium/Observer – England only
    CON 35
    LAB 36
    LIB 7
    UKIP 14
    GRN 6

    Con-Lab swing of 6% on 2010.

  14. Hmm…not sure if the “England” figures above are actually “England and Wales” figures…

  15. @ Postsge

    Okay..Suppose we get none of those big swings his model was predicting from 20 months out, a year out etc. Are you suggesting that he is going to say: ‘That’s all fine for S-theory: a lot of variation can be seen in part elections and so there are wide boundaries around how swingback might manifest itself this time round. No swingback happens to be within those boundaries, so I’m still perfectly happy that S-theory lives to fight another day’. Is that what you would expect his reaction to be?

    This leads to a concern that I have raised before about swingback (and indeed other) models. How are we expected to evaluate the models when all the real voting figures come flowing in? No doubt people will comment on how accurate the different models were in predicting VIs and seat counts. But they will probably focus on the most recent projections and, immediately before Election Day neither Fisher,s model nor the EF model are swingback models any more. The swingback component is eventually removed from the calculations so that all we can then assess is the quality of the different databases and their seat-conversion algorithms.

    To test swingback you would need to look at how well the models were doing some months out from the election. The problem then is that with projections changing either daily (EF) or weekly (Fisher) you have tens or hundreds of different projections to work with. How do you decide whether collectively they have provided a helpful basis for predicting the outcome of the election?

    With the three models that publish constituency by constituency someone like me can go away and calculate Euclidean Distances across the 650 constituencies and rank the models’ performances. But as I say, that wouldn’t assess the EF swingback component.

    On a similar tack, how are we to assess the performance of the new Guardian model. On May 8 we will discover how it ranks compared with its competitors. But we really need to know in advance whether to take it seriously. If it is flawed its projections will simply be misleading.

    Bingo! I have just realised what to do. Anthony has helpfully started to record the different models’ projections in his weekly reports. After May 8 I’ll be able to go back and compare the accuracy of the different models over the last few months before the election, and not just on the basis of the very last projection.
    For comparison purposes, I must remember to record the results of the Advanced Swingometer and Electoral Calculus on a weekly basis.. A good model would be close to target throughout the period of examination: a poor one less so. Yippee! I can quantify it after all!

    Sorry about the ramblings. Mini-Eureka moment…

  16. the swing shown in E & W from C to Lab is still too high for the tories to remain in power. Unless this changes, or the polls are just wrong, Mili is in no. 10…this penny is slowly beginning to drop.

  17. @CHRISLANE1945

    Not to mention Blessed Michael the Archangel who was in there somewhere as I recall….

  18. In Scotland I heard a commentator saying that one can expect the SNP figure to fall quite a bit as Scottish people focus on Downing Street and who will be there, which cannot be SNP and this will only happen in the last few days running up to the Election. Labour should be able to govern with Lib Dems and DUP.

  19. @Richard

    Thanks for the link to the Opinium tables.

    p.88
    32% of Con voters think the party is likely to get an overall majority. 50% of Con voters think they are likely to be the largest party.

  20. RAF

    Opinium publish “National” crossbreaks, which have the accuracy of a Scottish forward and the weighting of a Scottish back.

    The one for England only may be OK, but the Scottish and Welsh ones have the same relationship to accuracy as a variegated, subtly coloured dress has to sheep droppings.

  21. Howard

    “In Scotland I heard a commentator”

    Do you mean you were in Scotland when you heard a commentator from London pontificating on swing back?

  22. Opinium tables – pages 94 and 95 – “Assuming there were no other options, who would you prefer to be PM after the GE?”

    All voters: DC 56 EM 44

    Con, LD, PC and Ukip voters prefer DC
    Lab, SNP, Green and BNP voters prefer EM.

    SNP voters prefer EM by 73% to 27%.

    Caution: Tiny crossbeaks for PC (7) and BNP (4).

  23. “To test swingback you would need to look at how well the models were doing some months out from the election. The problem then is that with projections changing either daily (EF) or weekly (Fisher) you have tens or hundreds of different projections to work with. How do you decide whether collectively they have provided a helpful basis for predicting the outcome of the election?”

    With the internet, we know what was said…. Fisher is, at least intellectually honest, and his paper is online…

    This is a link to the paper, and these were his initial predictions in October 2013. As i said, many people said this wasn’t going to happen, even then.

    http://users.ox.ac.uk/~nuff0084/ge15forecast/LongRangeElectionForecastingOct13.pdf

    Date of forecast: 8.10.2013
    Days till the election: 576
    Inputted current average poll shares
    Con : 32
    Lab : 39
    LD : 10
    Forecast Election Day Shares and 95% Prediction intervals

    Con : 39.9 plus or minus 12 i.e. between 28 and 52
    Lab : 32.2 plus or minus 6.6 i.e. between 26 and 39
    LD : 11 plus or minus 14.8 i.e. between 0 and 26

    Forecast Election Day Seats

    Con : 333
    Lab : 270
    LD : 20
    Con majority of 16

  24. ROGER MEXICO.

    I don’t think it is at all misleading-for the reason you highlight-ie

    People are nearly evenly balanced between those who think funding should be via “general taxes” ( ie applying to all taxpayers) -and those who favour “graduate tax” ( ie only applying to those who graduated )

  25. @OldNat
    “Opinium publish “National” crossbreaks, which have the accuracy of a Scottish forward and the weighting of a Scottish back.”

    Ah…it’s a Six Nations weekend….I understand.

  26. @ Peter Crawford

    Yes. – Fisher gives his full record, so that is easy to retrieve. The corresponding EF record can be reconstructed from the graphs they plot of their projections. Anthony has been reporting these and May2015 seat projections in his weekly summaries dating from ’17 weeks to go’.

    I am missing May 2015 from further back thsn that, and I have no systematic records of Electoral Calculus or the Advanced Swingometer. This should be enough to be rather informative though….

  27. @Howard
    “Labour should be able to govern with Lib Dems and DUP.”

    Are you sure the LD’s would prefer EM over DC?

    I refer back to page 93 of today’s Opinium tables –“Assuming there were no other options, who would you prefer to be PM after the GE?”

    LD voters: DC 62% (57) EM 38% (35).

    Of course the post election arithmetic may not present the LDs with a realistic choice between backing Lab or the Tories, either in coalition or otherwise. But this poll suggests that a plurality of LD voters would prefer DC to EM as PM.

  28. My first question to everyone on this list is why should I take the Opinium survery seriously.

    The unweighted sample for Green is 124 and weighted goes up to 148 and that for Liberal Democrat starts at 76 and then weighted up to 78.

    But somehow after all filters are applied LD and Green end up tied at 6%.

    This is pure “alice in wonderland” nonsense, just like weighting UKIP down from 203 to 173.

    No wonder some people on this list are talking about “swingback” when there is this kind of “social engineering” going on.

    So with a total unweigted sample of 1, 948 and an unweighted sample of 124 I get Green at 6.4% and LD at 3.9%, Conservative 22.9%, Labour 24.6% and UKIP 10.4%.

    10.7% are unlikely and 17.5% are “floating”

    Further what I find interesting is that the total value of those who described how they would vote is 68.2, much closer to the actual turnout than adding in “refusers” and “don’t know”.

    So if we multiply what happens and say 68.2 becomes 100% of those that will vote what happens:

    Labour 36.1%
    Conservative 33.6%
    UKIP 15.2%
    Green 9.4%
    LD 5.7%

    Obviously I have not factored in SNP, PC and other, so let’s factor them in at 6% overall and adjust the numbers accordingly.

    Labour 33.9%
    Conservative 31.6%
    UKIP 14.3%
    Green 8.8%
    LD 5.4%
    Other 6%

    The numbers above based on the byelection results from late 2014 and constituency polling are far more reflective when using Opinium’s unweighted data than what they concoct with their various filters and weighting.

    Anything different is a bunch of malarky.

  29. @ Unicorn

    I think the pollsters historically had probably worked out as good as they could a formula for don’t knows etc and it seemed to have worked well with people like ICM who assumed they’d just go back to where they came from.

    I think the problem for them this time (in that and many other ways) is that they are guessing somewhat at what might happen this time with the current collapse of the previous 3rd party and the rise of 2-3 other parties. It’s impossible to judge whether UKIP and Greens drop back heavily or keep up the momentum.

    I do wish though that the don’t knows would be analysed in a bit more detail- like asking them which parties they might vote for.

  30. A factor that hasn’t been mentioned recently which might make things even more uncertain is the new system of individual registration.

    Do pollsters ever ask whether interviewees are registered to vote?

    [Snip – I don’t think that discussion would lead anywhere productive… – AW]

  31. Andy – I don’t really mind whether you take Opinium seriously or not, no skin off my nose, but the process there is very straightforward. Opinium weight by a variant on party ID – those figures on the first page are ID, not how people would vote. The unweighted figures for people’s voting intention are at the top of the columns with voting intention breaks. Going through the process:

    In Opinium’s unweighted sample 104 people said they would vote Lib Dem, 75 people said they would vote Green.

    After weighting that became 102 people saying Lib Dem, 84 people saying they would vote Green (so making hardly any difference to the Lib Dems, and a modest amount to the Greens)

    Of the 102 Lib Dems, 91 said they would definitely or probably vote, 11 said they would probably not vote and were excluded. Of the 84 Greens, 82 would definitely or probably vote.

    The 91 remaining Lib Dems are 6.4% of the remaining sample once all the don’t knows, won’t votes and unlikely to votes are taken away, the 82 Greens are 5.8% of the sample, hence both rounded to 6%.

    So it’s not lots of filtering that’s changed the figures… you’re just looking at the wrong figures ;)

  32. I’m curious about the public’s reasoning behind a cut in tuition fees, even if this results in a reduction of university funding. Maybe the assumption is that the cuts to universities would fall on research and salaries rather than teaching.

  33. Are we supposed to debate whether the public is right or not?

    Personally I don’t think the university fee cap reduction is much of a vote changer, the only big factor recently (since the omnishambles budget) has been the SNP rise in Scotland.

    The only hope the Tories have of avoiding the long predicted Lab landslide is if SNP take a great chunk of Scottish seats from Lab. Which is looking pretty possible at present.

  34. Does it not strike anyone on this list as odd, and as a political scientist I have observed the rise of Reform in Canada, One Nation in Australia, Palmer United in Australia, etc, that the UK Green Parties expereince the largest surge in their membership since 1988 and are running more candidates than ever before, holding more meetings and delivering more leaflets, and yet the pollsters are now showing these same parties going backwards in the polls?

    I am not on the ground in the UK but I remind you of that Survation poll in South Thanet versus Ashcroft when you drop the 2010 weighting.

    Is UKIP as active as the Green Party in terms of meetings, etc and what level of activity are LD able to mount beyond throwing $8 million pounds at the election.

    I worked on my last NDP (Labour) campaign in the summer of 1993 and it was unreal we held meeting after meeting and no one showed up.

    I went and worked with the Green Party, as flaky as they were, because at least they were not in denial about the shift that was happening. NDP went from 46.6% and electing their MP to 15.6% and coming 3rd, and they never saw it coming.

    In fact most political operatives never saw Reform coming, and on election day it was a complete shock. So are the pollsters creating a bubble of deniability around which the political status quo can gather and/or are the Green Party and UKIP “dreaming in technicolour”.

    A political party quadruples its membership in fourteen months and the polls yawn and carry on…hmm,,,strikes me as rather odd.

  35. If the comments about J Murphy’s physical appearance were directed at a woman there would quite rightly be outrage. [snip] A Star and others don’t need to choose between panicking and being in denial. They can see all sorts of difficulties but be intent to work their way through them. Morale in my experience is high amongst Labour members and supporters because they know what they fight for and like what they know. That doesn’t mean they will win but that doesn’t lessen their determination. No unusual motivation needs to be discovered ffor J Murphy. He is a politician and seeks election. You don’t need the entrails to tell you any more. In Scotland the blogosphere has become a no go area for Labour advocates other than insensitive brutes like me. It would be a shame for ukpr to follow suit.

  36. A factor that hasn’t been mentioned recently which might make things even more uncertain is the new system of individual registration.

    Do pollsters ever ask whether interviewees are registered to vote?

    Do people think that the potential reduction in registrations is likely to affect all parties equally?

    (N.B. I’ve reworded this because my earlier post (quite rightly) got snipped – sorry AW)

  37. @Bill Patrick
    “I’m curious about the public’s reasoning behind a cut in tuition fees, even if this results in a reduction of university funding. Maybe the assumption is that the cuts to universities would fall on research and salaries rather than teaching.”

    When the cap on tuition fees was increased from £3,000 to £9,000 per year by the Coalition, they also radically reduced the state university subsidy (by I understand about 80%). In effect they forced the top universities to charge students the full whack just to stand still.

    Whether reducing the cap will lead to an overall shortfall in funding to universities therefore depends on whether state subsudy will plug the shortfall, or if universities can find alternative sources of funding.

  38. @ Anthony

    So are you telling me that the “unweighted count” under “Party Propensity” is not the respondent value figure to the survey for LD and Green out of 1,948?

    It says 124 Green and 76 Liberal.

    And then in the adjacent collumn it says “weighted count” 148 green and 78 Liberal, which I assume means adjusted for basic demographics, age, gender, region, etc

    148 divied by 1,948 weighted is 7.6% and 78 weighted is 4%.

    It says at the top that 1,948 interviews were conducted online.

    It then says that there are 1,678 likely voters, but if I remove 204 or 228 “unlikely voters” that comes to 1,744 or 1,720 not 1,678.

    This is what Lord Foulkes commented about on Polling Matters, and whether you agree with him or not I am following the same line of questioning.

  39. @Andy

    Yes, AW is correct.

    Green party propensity is different from actual Green voting intention. Look at some of the other columns in that party propensity – floating voters, unlikely voters, people obviously did not pick those as parties they would vote for.

    I’m not sure how they determine what makes someone a ‘green propensity’ – perhaps they ask them how they voted in the Euro’s – that would make sense why they have a higher propensity than actual number of people intending to vote that way.

  40. Does it not strike anyone on this list as odd… that the UK Green Parties expereince the largest surge in their membership since 1988 and are running more candidates than ever before, holding more meetings… yet the pollsters are now showing these same parties going backwards in the polls?

    No.

    For a score of reasons.

    Possible example: Green voters may realise that their vote could cost Labour a seat. And so let in Conservative government again. They may want Green but would rather LAB than CON.

    Another: Greens in Sweden and Germany have long been held in quite high regard. Not so (at least not so widely) in the UK. To many they still have a (slightly) cranky image in the UK.

    Another: FPTP. UK voters may like the idea of voting Green but not perceive them as a worthwhile vote.

    And so on….

    In fact I would guess that the Greens could to triple or quadruple their current efforts and still not get more than 1 or 2 seats.
    (Though that is just my opinion of course and not based on any stats. And I would be happy to be proven wrong).

  41. Mbruno (and indeed Colin)

    Roger Mexico: considering that a large percentage of the university graduates will never fully repay their tuition fee loans before the debt is cancelled, the current system is “de facto”, for many people, a graduate tax that applies for a fixed period of time; That was pointed out by several analysts during the debate about fees versus a graduate tax.

    Oh I realise that there are similarities particularly in the way that they are/would be collected through PAYE. But we’re talking here about perception and most people would see the two things as being very different and a graduate tax as having a strong redistributionist element.

    They would envisage those graduates who earn more due to their qualifications subsidising others who go into less well-paid lines of work. At the moment. as you imply, they end up being subsidised by the general taxpayer – as do those who find other ways of avoiding repayment. So the two alternatives in the YouGov question are both muddled with each other and too inclusive – often the result of trying to turn a complex issue into a simple dichotomy.

    The truth is the whole system of fees and loans will prove to be a financial disaster because, like many other government ideas in recent decades, it was more about putting off the day when things had to be paid for and hoping that somehow growth would magically make things right. In the end the only beneficiaries are the financial institutions and those who run and service them.

  42. From The Real Howard

    Someone is posting, purporting to be me. He /she isn’t (me).

    I haven’t posted since before Christmas as the polldrums have left me with almost nothing to comment on.

    I have lurked though.

    You turn your back for just a twinkling of a few months and look what happens.

  43. @ Pete B

    Do people think that the potential reduction in registrations is likely to affect all parties equally?

    No. It will affect LAB most.

    But most of the ‘lost voters’ will likely be in Safe LAB seats. So the issue of registration may make very little difference.

    1 seat?

    Perhaps 3?

    If that.

  44. Scotland it would appear is preventing Miliband from gaining an outright majority if most current polls are accurate.

    Oh and well done Wales on winning in Paris.

  45. Sources close to Clegg saying in/out referendum is a red line for him so as Couper says that is it -the Tories under Cameron need a majority or its all over.

  46. Mikey

    “Scotland it would appear is preventing Miliband from gaining an outright majority if most current polls are accurate.”

    Actually, all those Tory voters in the SE of England have a much greater effect.

  47. JOHN MURPHY.
    Good Evening to you; back from the rugby, good Wales win.

    Now hoping for a draw between The Boys in Green and the English, and then Wales to beat Ireland at home to win another Championship… Hopes!

    Yes. Michael was in there, and still is in some places, and that is another story.

    On polling matters: I think Opiniium has the LD’s at a high level, for a change.

  48. Given the polls, it seems that the leader of the LIB-DEMs after the next election could well decide who forms the next government.

    Would Clegg still be that leader if he lost his Sheffield seat?

    Would he (despite his purported comments on an EU referendum) form another coalition with CON?

    Do the people of Sheffield realise how important HIS seat (the loss or hold of it) may be…. !

  49. YG Poll: 34 for Con and Lab. 8 for LD. Ukip 14. Green 5

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