Which polling methodology are you putting your money on?

Which polling methodology are you putting your money on?

    Are you more likely to be Labour in public than in private

Today’s ICM poll in the Guardian shows no movement on the pollster’s survey for the News of the World earlier in the month but has Labour 2% down on the last Guardian poll in December. The figures are LAB 38: CON 31: LD 21

With just 100 days to go before a May 5th General Election, there’s a remarkable degree of unanimity amongst the pollsters. The telephone-based surveys – ICM, NOP and Populus – all have Labour on the same figure – 38%; the Tories on 31-33%; and the Lib Dems on 20-21%.

There’s quite a lot of alignment with the internet-based pollster, YouGov, except it has the Lib Dems 4 points higher and Labour 4 points lower.

So with the Tories static at just under their 2001 actual share the big question is the scale of the “toggle” between Labour and the Lib Dems. The higher it is the less the chance that Tony Blair has got of achieving a third landslide victory.

    For gamblers the big General Election bet is about which polling methodology is getting it right – the telephone firms with their higher Labour shares or the internet with it’s bigger figures for the Lib Dems.

For a long time we have been arguing that interviewer-free polls produce bigger Tory figures because supporters are more likely to admit their allegiance to a computer or a robot than another human being. Based on the latest round of polls we might have been looking at this the wrong way round.

    Could it be that supporting Labour is something you are more likely to be in public than in the privacy of an internet survey or a polling booth?

Who knows? We’ll find out on May 6th.

Mike Smithson

Comments are closed.