Party by-election vote projections should be treated with a massive pinch of salt

Party by-election vote projections should be treated with a massive pinch of salt

Final weekend LD leaflet seeking to make the by-election about BREXIT

We are being given numbers for a reason not as a poll alternative

With just four days left to the Richmond Park by-election it looks as though there won’t be a final published poll and to fill this void the Green Party backed Lib Dem campaign has made some numbers available to the Observer. These are:

Zac 46.7%
LDs 43.3%
LAB 9.5%

This is not a poll but what was made available to the paper. It is very hard to comment on its accuracy but clearly the Lib Dems want to do everything in their power to squeeze the Labour vote and this information appears designed to do that.

The report is also a clarion call to activists and voters to maximise turnout on Thursday. The Yellows have been throwing everything into the seat which the billionaire’s son held with a 23k majority in May 2015.

It should be noted that similar figures were made available to me a couple of days ago and I didn’t publish them because PB has a policy on private polling and similar data where verification is not possible. I am only doing this post because of the Observer article.

Now I have no doubt that the LDs have a massive amount of data based on current and previous election canvassing as well as records going back decades on which electors in the constituency actually do vote. The latter comes from the publicly available marked register after each election.

In previous elections the party campaigns often have had a good idea at this stage how the postal vote campaigns were going.

So overall party campaign chiefs will have a reasonably good idea where they stand at the moment. But overall I don’t attach much importance to this data release. It could be part of a big expectation management effort.

Mike Smithson


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