Why polling is all about the trend
The overnight survey from PB’s pollster, Angus Reid Strategies, is the third that we’ve had since the site’s arrangement with the Canadian online firm was launched in October – and the big message is that there’s been very little change.
All three polls have had the three main parties and others moving in very narrow ranges all well within the margin of error. The Tories have been at 40, 38 and now 39; Labour has been at 23, then 24 and now 22 while the Lib Dems have been at 20, 20 and in the latest survey 21.
So the Angus Reid Strategies methodology is showing that there’s been no real change in opinion since the conference season. Labour are still in very serious trouble.
The thing about this latest poll compared with ICM and MORI a week earlier is that it did not take place in the immediate aftermath of a stunning by-election victory for Labour.
Going through the impact of by elections on subsequent polling there is a well established pattern of the the party that’s done well getting a boost in surveys where the fieldwork takes place in the immediate aftermath.
Looking at the detailed data from MORI we see that Labour’s six point deficit became a nine point one once the England only figures are looked at – suggesting a disproportionate move to Labour north of the border where less than a tenth of all the general election constituencies are located.