Which pollster has got it right?
Although political gamblers have been denied any markets on the Euro Elections UK – there’s one group of organisations that have an enoromous amount riding on the results of Thursday election – the pollsters.
For polticians who’ve been attacking their methods, for punters who rely on on them for data on how a campaign is going and the public will be able to test their performances against real results. In particular the extraordinary figures that YouGov has been putting out on UK Independence Party support will be subject to huge scrutiny. Other pollsters have showed a UKIP surge but to nothing like the same extent.
For if YouGov are getting it right then we can give more weight to their predictions on the Tory share, which until the UKIP affect clicked in for the Euro Election, was substantially higher than with the conventional pollsters. We will also be more critical of the conventional pollsters.
If YouGov are not as accurate then the credence that can be attached to their figures will be lowered and we would imagine more political criticism.
As well as the Euro polls the other opinion polls on trial against real results will be on the London Mayor – where the conventional pollsters had such huge problems last time because of the low turnout.
The following compares the latest YouGov Euro poll , published yesterday with today’s Populus Poll in the Times which, interestingly, includes responses from people in the postal voting regions who have already voted.
CON 26%(YG) 24% (P)
LAB 24% (YG) 25-26% (P)
UKIP 21% (YG) 13% (P)
LDEM 13%(YG) 16-18%(P)
GRN 6%(YG) 8-9%(P)
So the divide between the internet pollster and the conventional one is down to the UKIP share – 21% with YouGov or 13% with Populus. We shall have to wait until the Euro results are announced on Sunday before we find out.
The Times also reports that one in seven people in areas with all-postal voting saying that they had not received ballot papers by last weekend. This is an issue that is not going to lie down.
UPDATE – LONDON MAYOR BETTING – MAN or PARTY. The price on Ken has moved out just a touch since it dropped to 1.05 at the weekend – it’s now at 1.07. Thus punters who laid Ken on the exchanges at 1.05 on Sunday could get out now with a profit of 40%.
UPDATE – DATE OF GENERAL ELECTION. There’s been bery little interest so far on this market and only £440 has been bet in two weeks. If it’s not going to be April-June 2005 (1.25) then the surely it will be in October-December 2005 (4). The last seems reasonable value.