Is this a real reflection of Tory party opinion?

Is this a real reflection of Tory party opinion?


..Or are site readers just echoing back Tim’s views?

One of the big political stories of the week which could have an electoral impact was David Cameron’s comments about all women short-lists.

The reaction on a number of Tory-blogs, particularly from Tim Montgomerie’s ConservativeHome has been electric. There’s been post afer post about the subject and with many commenters being hostile as well.

Yesterday we had one of ConHome’s “polls” with the summary results appearing above. This has been picked up by the mainstream media and, apparently, there’s a Tory split on our hands.

But is this “poll” really representative of Conservative members. Do nearly half of of them, for instance, actually disagree with the notion that the parliamentary party will be “wiser and more effective” with more women members? That response alone should raise concerns.

I’ve made this point before here but we could all have a lot more confidence if Tim and ConHome started being a lot more transparent about their polling. How was the sample chosen and what, for instance, was the gender split of those who responded? Was there any effort to weight the findings so that they were in line with what is known about Tory members?

I believe that this story has the potential to be explosive – but it needs to be based on proper transparent polling.

PaddyPower , meanwhile, has opened a market on the number of women who’ll be in Cameron’s first cabinet. He has four in the shadow line-up but has said in the past that by the end of a first term he would hope that this would be a third.

Mike Smithson

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