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Is NO 14pc ahead or 10pc behind?

March 4th, 2011
Latest AV referendum polls Date YES % NO % Methodology note
Angus Reid/ 03/03/11 55 45 Repercentaged by pollster. Actual wording on the ballot, online, polling restricted to members of its polling panel. No turnout weighting. Politically weighted via past vote and newspaper type.
YouGov/No2AV 02/03/11 43 57 Repercentaged by PB. Bespoke wording, online, polling restricted to members of its polling panel. No turnout weighting. Politically weighted via party ID and newspaper type.
Ipsos-MORI Reuters 20/02/11 55 45 Repercentaged by MORI. Actual wording on the ballot, phone poll, only those “certain to vote” included.
ICM/Guardian 20/02/11 51 49 Repercentaged by ICM. Actual wording on the ballot, phone poll, past voted weighted. Figures show split after turnout weighting

Conflicting pictures from two new referendum polls

Two new polls on the May 5th AV referendum show very different pictures of voters’ view of the question. YouGov, who are working for the NO2AV campaign, reported last night that NO was 12% ahead – Angus Reid, meanwhile, has YES 10% ahead.

In order to allow proper comparison between the polls PB will in future show the splits from each firm based solely on the view of decided voters. All the firms bar YouGov are providing this data.

So of polls in the past fortnight three have YES ahead with only YouGov showing a NO lead. This, I believe is down to the question that YouGov is using. All the other firms are using the same words that are on the ballot.

Given that YouGov has just got the Welsh referendum within two points using a simplified question heaven knows why they are continuing to use their current form (see below).

Is it being uncharitable to suggest that the client. the NO2AV campaign, prefers it this way?

The Angus Reid survey also had new voting intention figures showing an increase in the Labour lead.

Poll Date CON % LAB % LD % OTH
Angus Reid/ 04/03/10 33 41 10 16
Angus Reid/ 10/02/11 34 40 11 15
Angus Reid/Sunday Express 28/02/11 32 43 11 14
Angus Reid/ 25/01/11 33 41 12 13
Angus Reid/ 06/01/11 35 40 12 15
Angus Reid/ 20/12/10 35 41 9 12
  • The YouGov AV question: “The Conservative-Liberal Democrat government are committed to holding a referendum on changing the electoral system from first-past-the post (FPTP) to the Alternative Vote (AV) At the moment, under first-past-the-post (FPTP), voters select ONE candidate, and the candidate with the most votes wins. It has been suggested that this system should be replaced by the Alternative Vote (AV). Voters would RANK a number of candidates from a list. If a candidates wins more than half of the ‘1st’ votes, a winner is declared. If not, the least popular candidates are eliminated from the contest, and their supporters’ subsequent preferences counted and shared accordingly between the remaining candidates. This process continues until an outright winner is declared. If a referendum were held tomorrow on whether to stick with first-past-the-post or switch to the Alternative Vote for electing MPs, how would you vote”
  • For the Welsh referendum YouGov asked: In this referendum on giving the National Assembly for Wales increased law-making powers how will you vote?
  • Mike Smithson