Will a new PH marginals poll show the same trends?

Will a new PH marginals poll show the same trends?

PoliticsHome Sept 2008

How many seats will the Tories get in Scotland?

My understanding is that PoliticsHome is considering updating its massive marginals polling exercise that sought to make predictions for 238 battle-ground seats in the coming election.

This is great news for as we get closer to the general election and more betting markets open up I find myself relying more and more and on the massive survey last year in which more 34,000 voters were questioned. Featured above are the predicted outcomes in the Scottish marginals that were involved.

The fieldwork took place in late July and early August but by the time the full report was published in September Lehmans had collapsed and the political world was changing.

In a sense that poll’s findings are more relevant today than when it came out. We simply have to remember that late summer 2008 was the Tory peak and Labour was at its nadir – the projected 146 Tory majority reflects, perhaps, the best the party can hope for.

If a seat was not pointing to the Tories then then it is probably not going to be pointing in that direction now.

So over the next few days I’m going to go over the key findings – region by region, seat-type by seat-type – starting this morning with Scotland.

What gives this a huge edge over conventional polls is not just the scale but that the questioning went far beyond the simple voting intention points. Respondents were pressed about possible tactical voting intentions which could be a key factor – particularly in Scotland where many of the seats are three and in some cases four-way marginals.

Just look at how the shares in the Scottish marginals change when the pollster does some prompting.

The table above shows the impact of the prompted approach in Scottish marginals and interestingly it’s the Conservative vote that suffers when you probe further.

So what can the PH survey tell us that will help with a market I’ve not featured before – the number of Scottish Tory seats. The prices are 5/4 on 0-3 seats, 11/10 on 4-6 with 4/1 being available on 7 seats or more. I find it hard to choose between 0-3 and 4-6 but the chances of it being 7 or above must be very slim.

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