Has the Indy swapped its polling winner for a polling loser?
A new poll in the Independent today by NOP gives Labour a 9% lead. The shares are:- CON 30: LAB 39: LD 20. Allowing for turnout, however, the Strathclyde University elections expert, John Curtice, says the lead drops by 4% amongst those certain to vote.
[UPDATE] We have now been told that the poll was weighted by stated past vote.
NOP have only just returned to conducting national UK opinion polls. At the 2001 General Election the firm’s final survey understimated the Tories by 3%, the Lib Dems by 3% and over-estimated Labour by 5%. This was slightly better than their previous two polls in the campaign which recorded 19% Labour leads – more than double what actually happened.
It was NOP that carried out the Hartlepool by-election poll that showed Labour 33% ahead – a margin that was out by a massive 26%.
At the time we concluded that “Labour will hold on – but by nowhere near the 33% that NOP predicted.” We wish that our forecasts for the White House race had been as accurate!.
What’s really sad is that the Indy and the Indy on Sunday do not seem to be using again one of the polling “stars” of the 2001 General Election – Rasmussen. This uses interviewer-free surveys and was the only one to get the Tory share right. Rasmussen also chalked up a good record in this year White Race.