Does the Telegraph’s survey tell us anything we don’t know?
Under the undramatic headline “Election campaign starts tomorrow but swing to Tories will not oust Blair” unusual polling results of a YouGov online survey of nearly 22,000 people since the beginning of the year are featured in the Telegraph this morning.
Unlike normal polls which have a very tightly defined survey time but a much smaller sample this covers a very large number of people over a long period. The head line figures are LAB 36: CON 33: LD 22 and are broadly in line with the indivdual YouGov polling results over the period.
Labour’s 36% is consistent with the 34-38% ratings that the pollster has recorded this year
The Conservative’s 33% is about the same as the 31-34% figures the party has seen in the period
The Lib Dems 22% is slightly down on the average of the 21-25% figures that YouGov have reported during 2005
Compared with the last General election Labour are down six points, the Tories have seen no change and the Lib Dems are up three.
There are big regional variations. The swing from Labour to the Tories is most marked in London, which has many marginal seats, at seven per cent. In Scotland there is a five per cent swing from Labour to the Scottish National Party.
Because of the long time period during which the survey covers it is hard to draw firm conclusions because in many ways it is reporting what we know already.
UPDATE: Anthony Wells has computed what the regional swings would mean in terms of seats and produces a projected Commons of CON 199: LAB 366: LDEM 51.. He warns, though, “…Bear in mind though that, just as there is no such thing as a uniform national swing, there is no such thing as uniform regional swings either.”