Are we underestimating the impact of the war?

Are we underestimating the impact of the war?

    Is Mori right that this is the number one issue?

After our article on the Mori poll yesterday Kit made the following observation:- “Received opinion here (including mine) is that Iraq or the War on Terror isn’t going to play heavily outside small sections of society. But according to this poll defence/foreign affairs/international terrorism is given as the most important issue by a reasonably whopping 32% of respondents. Looking back a year MORI have it at the top of the graph for much of the time, and it’s rising. Are we underestimating the potential electoral impact of these issues?”

We wondered whether the importance of Defence/Foreign Affairs/ International Terrorism by respondees to Mori polls is a reflection of Mori’s methodology which, unlike all the other political pollsters, still relies on the old-fashioned face-to-face interview. This is regarded by Mori boss, Bob Worcester, as the “Rolls Royce” of polling methodologies which possibly creates a more reflective environment than the phone for such interviews to be carried out.

Certainly looking at the graph the numbers are not what is commonly believed.

Looking at the response to different pollsters on the Government’s handling of Iraq and support for the war there is a huge different between the polling organisations.

ICM which asks the question “From what you have seen or heard, do you think the war against Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein was justified or unjustified? tends to get the most favourable figures for Tony Blair – perhaps because they remind respondents of the removal of the former Iraqi leader. The last figure showed a deficit of just 3%.

Populus, on the other hand, seeks a more reflective answer in the way it poses its question “Thinking about the build-up to the war in Iraq and everything that has happened since, was taking military action the right thing to do, or the wrong thing to do? In November it was getting a 26% Government deficit.

YouGov was getting an 18% deficit when in October it asked Do you think the United States and Britain were right or wrong to take military action against Iraq? Only a week earlier, however, the same question by YouGov produced a deficit of just 5%.

    If Mori have got this one right then the coming General Election might be more open than most commentators believe.

Latest Labour seat market prices – General Election. That 7/4 on Labour getting 335 seats or less looks quite good value.

360 + 11/10
0 – 335 7/4
352 – 359 11/2
344 – 351 6/1
336 – 343 7/1

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