But has YouGov got this one right?
The former political journalist and one of the founders of YouGov, Peter Kellner, was reported to be quipping to colleagues yesterday: “One thing is certain: by Friday night – either Ken Livingstone or I will be out of a job”.
For of the four firms that have surveyed Londoners only his firm, the controversial online pollster YouGov, has consistently reported significant margins for the Tory contender. The other firms – ICM, MRUK and Ipsos-MORI – have either shown the candidates neck and next or else that Ken has had a small lead.
Overnight, as reported in the previous thread, I was given a tip-off from a source who has proved reliable in the past that today’s final YouGov poll would show a slight narrowing of the margin but with Boris having an ample margin. He had an 8% lead on first preferences reducing to 6% after second preferences has been allocated. The poll will be in today’s Evening Standard which should be available from about 11am.
The MORI polling firm has taken me to task for my much repeated view that first preference polling figures are more robust than the second preference ones. There are several elements here not least the complication of the ballot form itself where electors have to put their crosses in two columns – something that can cause confusion. Last time a largish group of voters left the second column blank or simply repeated their first choice selection there.
Another factor is that within polling samples the number of interviewees on whom second preference figures are calculated can be very small – a point that has been highlighted by the head of ICM, Nick Sparrow.
Betting activity has started to build up and will continue after the polling stations close at 10pm right until the official figures are announced at City Hall tomorrow evening.
Will there be an exit poll? Last time ITN commissioned MORI which reported a final Ken Margin of 8% against the 10% that actually happened – a very good performance. I’m not aware of any firm being hired this time but it is still possible.
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