What do we think of this attempt to gauge public opinion?
This weekend, the penultimate before the June 4th Euro elections, I am please to announce the launch of PB Polling Dunce award which has been specially designed by Marf. The objective, I hope, is self-explanatory.
And our first nominee is the Sunday Express for its piece below on Westminster constituency surveys which were carried out in Salford, Worcester and Basildon and according to the paper the results were very bad for Labour.
Yet we have no idea from the report how the surveys were carried out, whether a proper polling firm was used, what weightings were put in place and the format and wording of the questions that were put. We are not even told whether the polling was by phone, face to face interviews or online. Without such core information it’s hard to conclude whether the conclusions are valuable or rubbish.
For instance was the raw data weighted in line with the specific demographics in the selected areas and how did they go about the “certainty to vote” calculations?
In addition, which is highly questionable, the paper has taken the numbers from Hazel Blears’s Westminster constituency in Salford and conclude that “BRITISH National Party leader Nick Griffin is on course to win a seat in the European Parliament next month on the back of a tidal wave of public anger over MPsâ€™ expenses”.
For the voters in her Salford seat are a minuscule part of the massive North West region which includes the whole of Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester (Met County), Lancashire, Merseyside (Met County), Blackburn with Darwen UA, Blackpool UA , Halton UA , and Warrington UA. It might be that those that were interviewed in salford were representative of region but that must be a remote possiblity.
It might be that the BNP is set to take a seat in the region but polling like this does not support this either way.
Maybe I’m too much of a purist but what a waste of time and effort.