Will ICM and Populus be going with the flow?
One of the difficulties looking at current polling is that YouGov are doing so many surveys that they almost drown out everybody else – and we have not heard for some time from the two firms, ICM and Populus, which will be going into this election using the same broad methodology as in 2005.
All the other firms doing monthly surveys – YouGov, ComRes, Angus Reid and Ipsos-MORI – are either new to UK polling or else have made significant changes to their approaches which as yet have not been tested at a general election.
Thus YouGov has made significant changes to their political weightings as has been much discussed here; Ipsos-MORI has abandoned face-to-face surveys and introduced its new public sector worker weightings; ComRes has brought in past vote weighting which was fine tuned again last year; while Angus Reid, which has a lot of experience in North America, is the new kid on the block in the UK.
ICM, by contrast, brought in its past vote weighting system in the mid-1990 and has operated in the same broad manner since. Populus started polling for the Times in 2003 and modelled itself on ICM.
And its these two phone pollsters that we have not heard from much since the gap between the Tories and Labour saw a sharp narrowing.
It’s a month and 12 YouGov polls of various kinds since the last Populus and ICM only did two published surveys in February the last being completed the weekend before last.
So I, for one, am really looking forward to their latest output which I’m hoping to see in the next two to three days.