What will the data fiasco do to Nick Palmer’s bet?
PBC’s most prolific and long-standing MP contributor, Nick Palmer, often enters into charity bets on the site where the loser, if it is not he, makes a donation to the Cats Protection League in his constituency of Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire.
One such current bet is that Labour will “not fall below 34% in an ICM poll before the end of 2007”. Given that the last survey had the party at 35% we are getting pretty close. The issue that poll-watchers and cat-lovers will be looking for is whether that 34% floor is going to be breached.
It could be a tight thing. A common consequence of cumulative bad publicity, like that which we have seen for Labour over the past few days, is that party supporters tend to tell pollsters that they are less certain that they will vote compared with when things are going well.
ICM have a tight filter on this question. Only those saying they are 70% certain or more get included. If the firm is following its usual time-table then fieldwork for the monthly Guardian survey should start on Friday. There might, of course, be other polls that have been commissioned for the Sunday papers.