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Could DaveM be the 2010 Hilary Benn?

September 9th, 2010

How good is YouGov polling of Labour 56 days out?

With David Miliband moving in the betting to being an 80% favourite perhaps we ought to reflect again on the ONLY poll of Labour and fee paying TU members who have been voting in this election.

That survey closed 56 days before the end of voting. We’ve had nothing since and the Labour race of 2010 looks set to be the most under-polled leadership election of recent times.

Even the Labour deputy race of 2007 had three separate YouGov polls taking place 86, 57 and 25 days before the close. Look at the numbers below particularly the one in the second row – the poll that had almost exactly the same timing as the single poll of the current campaign.

The bottom row shows the actual votes that each of the six contenders secured in the first round.

YouGov polling of Labour members – 2007 deputy race

Days to go Benn H Johnson Harman Hain P Cruddas Blears
86 36 22 13 12 9 7
57 36 19 15 15 10 9
25 24 24 17 13 12 9
1st choices 12.8 24.2 19.6 14.4 13.9 14.9

YouGov polling of levy paying trade unionists – 2007 deputy race

Days to go Benn H Johnson Harman Hain P Cruddas Blears
86 34 20 18 12 9 7
57 na na na na na na
25 22 26 16 15 15 7
1st choices 14.8 13.6 13.1 19.9 27.3 11.3

So the most directly comparable poll to the July 2010 one had Hilary Benn with a 17 point lead over Alan Johnson and a dramatic 21 point margin over the eventual winner, Harriet Harman.

Hilary Benn then went on to finish in fourth place – ahead of Hain and Blears but well behind the others.

Could it be, I wonder, that David Miliband is the 2010 Hilary Benn? Certainly I’m not betting on the older Miliband at current prices.

Mike Smithson