Euro results meaningless – but YouGov looks set to win the pollsters’ test
For political gamblers the Euro elections results are almost totally meaningless. There were no betting markets and all they showed is that people vote differently for the European Parliament (above) than they do domestically – as is markedly demonstrated by the completely different vote shares from the same voters on the same day in the local elections.
Thus in the two sets of elections on Thursday almost one in two local Lib Dem supporters, one in three Tories and one in six Labour supporters switched to another party for Europe.
At the General Election UKIP might double the 1.5% it got in 2001 but in terms of the Lab-Con split this is likely to be offset by the emergence of George Galloway’s Respect party eating into the Labour vote.
The main issue for gamblers was the performance of the pollsters. For their surveys are the main way that we can track an election and many of us place bets on the basis of what they report and it is only very rarely that we are able to test them against real results.
Two pollsters carried surveys on the Euro Elections in the UK – the conventional firm, Populus for the Times and the internet firm, YouGov who both, incidentally, were unique up to a month ago in being the only ones to be showing Tory leads over Labour.
Our starting point was these YouGov and Populus polls published on the Sunday and Monday before the election. Among those likely to vote they had:-
YouGov CON 26: LAB 24: UKIP 21: LDEM 13 GRN 6
Populus CON 24: LAB 25/26: UKIP 13: LDEM 16-18: GRN 8/9
With the results from Scotland due during the day the current position with the parties is
CON 27.4: LAB 22.3: UKIP 16.8: LDEM 15.1: GRN 6.2
When the results from Scotland come in they should push Labour up a bit and see the Tories and Lid Dems drop a notch. Because there was no postal voting in Scotland and no local elections were held at the same time then the turnout is likely to be substantially lower – so the impact on the national shares will be less. At the moment it’s looking pretty good for YouGov.
Our main calls remain:-
We believe that Labour will win most seats at the General Election although there might not be an overall majority.
We believe that the election will be held on the first Thursday in May 2005 – 05/05/05.
In the White House race we believe that John Kerry will be the next President even though it’s now looking more unlikely that the Republican, John McCain will be his running mate on a ticket that polls say would give the pair a 14% margin over Bush-Cheney.
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