Solving the ICM local election poll mystery?

Solving the ICM local election poll mystery?

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    Were the Sunday Express figures part of the latest Guardian poll?

Yesterday the Sunday Express published an ICM poll which suggested that votes in the local elections on Thursday would split CON 29%, LAB 27%, LD 22%. There was little other data accompanying the report and Anthony Wells of UK Polling Report concluded “I’m reserving judgement till I see the tables on the ICM website”

Given it’s been a bank holiday weekend it is not surprising that nothing has yet appeared on the pollster’s site – but I’m wondering whether it was part of the Guardian survey that came out last week. That had a question – “If there were to be local elections in your area how do you think you would vote?” and the responses produce figures broadly in line with the Sunday Express report.

The numbers can be found on page 3 of this PDF.

What was odd about these figures, and probably the reason they were not given prominence last week, was the very high proportion of those indicating that they would vote.

    Taking away the “refused”, “don’t knows” and “would not vote” 75% of those interviewed expressed a party intention – which is clearly ridiculous

Given that 39% of the same people in the same poll refused or said they had not voted in last year’s General Election is is hardly credible that a greater proportion would be planning to vote on Thursday.

The General Election intention voting figures recorded by the ICM in the Guardian took into account voting intention so that the numbers were scaled down. No such calculation took place with these local election figures.

I would be very surprised if this was the national outcome on Thursday. My advice – ignore.

Mike Smithson

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