Spare a thought for the pollsters tonight

Spare a thought for the pollsters tonight

YouGov – June 3rd
CON 26 LAB 16 LD 15 UKIP 18 GRN 10 BNP 5

ComRes – May 31st
CON 24 LAB 22 LD 14 UKIP 17 GRN 15 BNP 2

ICM – May 28th
CON 29 LAB 17 LD 20 UKIP 10 GRN 11 BNP 5

Populus – May 28th
CON 30 LAB 16 LD 12 UKIP 19 GRN 10 BNP 5

BPIX – May 16th
CON 30 LAB 17 LD 15 UKIP 17 GRN ?? BNP 5

Who’s going to win the great EU polling race?

One of the great challenges for polling firms is that every so often your surveys are put to the test against the results of real elections. Normally, away from general elections, you don’t get a full line up of firms who do surveys on other political outcomes but tonight we have the results of five to compare.

And the bosses of the the firms are only too aware that how they’ve done compared with the others is something that will come up time and time again. I’ve set out their final findings above together with the date that the fieldwork ended.

This is a nightmare election for them because turnout will be much lower than even the 60% that we’ve come to expect at general elections and the smaller the number of those voting the more difficult it to produce accurate predictions. Add on to that there are many more parties involved over and above the normal three plus SNP/PC in Scotland and Wales.

To cope with the challenge each of them has taken a different approach making decisions that could have been crucial. Andrew Hawkins of ComRes surprisingly dropped past vote weighting for his surveys – this is the measure that that all but YouGov use to ensure politically balanced samples. Will Andrew, who has a number of key numbers different from the rest, have got this tight?

What about Andrew Cooper of Populus and Peter Kellner of YouGov – the only two firms that mounted surveys in 2004 – both doing reasonably well? Both have made changes to the way they prompt by party name. Populus has an extensive list YouGov has a shorter one.

What about Nick Sparrow – the polling pioneer behind ICM who has a total for UKIP which is much lower than the rest? Will the results prove him right?

All the best guys – I for one will be thinking about you this evening.

  • Double Carpet is covering a selection of the Continental results over on Channel 2 – please bookmark
  • Mike Smithson

    Comments are closed.