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Survation’s ballot paper voting responses raise questions about incumbency boosts on which the Tories are relying so much

May 4th, 2015

Are CON incumbents really going to get a bonus?

In its latest poll for the Mail on Sunday Survation added a new dimension – a voting question based on the precise ballot paper that each of the 2100 people sampled will actually fill in on Thursday or have already done so with postal votes.

This was an online poll and the replica ballot papers are generated for each participant by their post code. If there is going to be a way of getting close to what people will actually do when faced with the choice then this surely is it.

What made this even more interesting is that the question followed the standard voting intention one allowing us to compare.

The great thing about this is that it is a way of bringing the candidate names into the process. If incumbent X really is going to attract more support then this polling approach would surely show it.

The changes between the two voting questions are shown in the chart above and have the Tories doing worst while the LDs doing better. No surprise about the latter but a worry for the former.

    So much of the blue team’s hopes in the final few days have been linked to the first time incumbency bonus. The bad news is that in this one poll it didn’t show.

I’m hoping that Survation will be doing a final Scotland poll and will be able to use this process in that. Are well known Scottish incumbents really going to fall to the SNP on the scale that other polling suggests? The firm is definitely going to have this as part of its final national poll.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble