Who is going to win the 2010 polling race?

Who is going to win the 2010 polling race?

Now you can bet on the most accurate final poll?

Aside from the party HQs the most tense places to be on election night will be at the six polling firms which carry out monthly surveys of political opinion in Britain. How close were they with their final poll?

For they all know only too well that this will be the one set of numbers that will be flung back at them for years to come. And within the industry there’s a lot of kudos in being the top pollster.

In 2005 that honour went to NOP for their final survey in the Independent which got the all actual main party percentages precisely right. And what happened to them? The paper dropped the firm and replaced them with ComRes. Such is life! Such is the Independent!

This time battle for being top is something that we can bet upon. PaddyPower has just introduced a new general election betting market.

The rules state it relates to the final public polls published by UK Polling Report. The winner will be determined by taking the aggregate difference between the percentages given for Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats and the official result percentages for GB recorded by BBC News.

These are the opening prices:-

2/1 YouGov

9/4 ICM

4/1 Ipsos-MORI

9/2 Comres

6/1 Populus

6/1 Angus Reid Strategies

Where’s the value there? Of the six runners only three of them will be operating with broadly the same methodology as last time – YouGov, ICM and Populus. Ipsos-MORI and ComRes have undergone methodology changes in the past two and a half years while Angus Reid is untested in the UK. On this basis the Populus 6/1 looks good.

Mike Smithson

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