Should we believe CONhome’s home-made polls?

Should we believe CONhome’s home-made polls?

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    When is the media going to challenge Montgomerie about his statistics?

As far as I can see the otherewse excellent CONhome website is not a member of the British Polling Council – the body that operates the code or practice that all the serious pollsters belong. The body imposes a transparency regime which means that anybody who is interested can work out exactly how the numbers that are produced have been worked out.

This was introduced three years ago and has played a big part in improving confidence in the polling industry. As we saw during the Scottish elections the non-BPC polls did badly and reinforced those who argue that the media should only report something as a “poll” if it has followed minimum standards.

Yet, not for the first time, CONhome’s, Tim Montgomerie, the former chief aide to IDS which gives a sense of his politics, was on Radio 4’s Today programme talking with apparent great authority about his web-site’s polling which was being presented as an accurate reflection of opinion within the party that he is still a member of.

    Now I have no idea how this “polling” operates and I might be doing Tim a great injustice – but if, as I suspect, the “poll results” are based solely on the view of those members who happen to contact his site then any findings are highly suspect.

Tim who was attacking the methodology of ICM only a month or so ago ought to know better and he ought not to present his numbers as being more than what they are.

Mike Smithson

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