Isn’t it all about how the questions are framed?
The above clip always makes me chuckle and although it’s from a comedy show and is perhaps a bit over the top it’s a useful reminder about the hazards of non-standard polling questions.
So what are we too make of the poll findings from the ComRes survey that the Indy is leading on this morning.
The first non-voting related question asked whether respondees agreed that “A Conservative Government would mainly represent the interests of the well-off rather than ordinary people” to which there was 52% to 44% agreement
This was followed directly afterwards with “A Labour Government would protect frontline public services such as health and education better than a Conservative Government would” which produced a split of 47% to 46% in agreement.
Finally, ComRes asked without referring to any party whether the sample agreed that “The threshold for paying inheritance tax should be raised to Â£1 million”. To this 55% said they agreed and 38% said they didn’t.
Surely, as Richard Nabavi suggested on the previous thread a more neutral approach would have been to ask:
â€œWhich party has the better policies for health and education?â€
â€œWhich of the Labour and Conservative parties is more appealing?â€
At this stage the party strategists want data that will help them frame their approaches better and I don’t think the ComRes/Indy formulation is helpful. Taking too much notice of any of the responses, including the IHT one, could lead to flawed conclusions.