Could it be closer than YouGov was suggesting?
Chris Huhne’s campaign team have released details of a survey by an independent third party organisation which, they say, suggests a late surge in support of their man. The data purports to show that there’s been a big reduction in the number of undecided voters has fallen dramatically over the past ten days (from 38.4% to 17.5%) and that these members have plumped overwhelmingly for the older contender.
These are the figures:
Chris Huhne definite – 44.7%
Nick Clegg definite – 15.2%
Chris Huhne leaning – 5.3%
Nick Clegg leaning – 1.5%
Undecided – 17.5%
Won’t say – 14.4%
The campaign says that the survey of 1,000 randomly selected Party members was carried out by an independent organisation in three batches and that the figures above reflect the data acquired over the period 27 Nov – 4 Dec. Amalgamating the definite and leaning support and giving Nick Clegg all the “won’t say” responses, indicates that members’ support at the moment is splitting in the region of 50% Chris Huhne, 30% Nick Clegg with just under 20% undecided.
I have quizzed Huhne’s campaign manager about how this was carried out. The “pollster” was not one of the conventional firms but a market research company which for various reasons they do not want to name publicly though I have been told who it was.
So what are we to make of it? That there is a move to Huhne seems to chime with other signs but it is hard to measure the scale and to assess the impact on the outcome given that a large number of members have already voted.
My reaction has been to cut back by half my Â£900 betting exposure on Clegg.