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Punters ignore Tory progress [normal site updates from September 8]

August 31st, 2004

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It’s not been picked up by the pundits or the betting markets but ALL four of the main opinion polls have shown Tory gains in August.

YouGov (Aug 27)
34%(+1) L34%(nc!) LD21% (-2%)
ICM (Aug15)
C33%(+3) L36%(+1) LD22%(-3)
MORI (Aug 16)
C32%(+1) L36%(+4) LD21%(-3)
Populus (Aug 1)
C32%(+3) L32%(-1) LD24% (nc)

With the UKIP effect continuing to unwind there is the potenial for further improvements but all this is being ignored by the betting markets.

Latest spread-betting prices.

LAB 343-351 (+1): CON 210
-218 (-2): LIBD 66-70 (NC)

Remember it was the UKIP surge ahead of the June 10 Euro election that caused Michael Howard to falter. Take this away & the Tories might be heading towards their pre-spring position of 38- 40% in the only anonymous interviewer-free poll that we have at the moment, YouGov.

Why anonymous interviewer-free polls? Because these come closest to replicating a secret ballot and have a proven accuracy measuring Tory support – just look at the consistent performance of
the computer-generated phone polls of Rasmussen last time and YouGov’s internet operation.

When tested in real elections non-anonymous interviewer-based polls almost always understate the Tories and overstate Labour. This happened at the last 3 General Elections and in the June 10 Euro elections.

The conventional pollsters say their advanced techniques are now dealing with this better. But two of them in the figures above have boosted the Labour totals to compensate for those reluctant to tell interviewers their allegiance. We understand the mathematics but question the basis on which this is being done. Only time will tell whether they are right.

A LAB BUY spread bet at 351 seats is as safe as one on Paula Racliffe being re-elected BBC Sports Personality of the Year.






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