CON 42% (nc)
LAB 30% (nc)
LD 16% (nc)
Is the Sun using polling to help undermine Brown?
On Wednesday evening in the immediate aftermath of the abortive H-H coup attempt we had news of a Sun YouGov poll that had Labour just nine points behind. Almost all of the fieldwork had taken place before news of that development was being reported.
Then the following evening we had another poll in the paper showing that the Tories had moved up two with both Labour and the Lib Dems going down one. The gap moved from nine to twelve percent.
Now the paper is leading on a third poll from the firm with a massive 10,344 sample showing no change in the voting intention figures. I cannot find the fieldwork dates in the report but I assume that it went into the weekend though before news of the Watts book came out.
Few papers are in a position to commission so many surveys in such a short period and I guess that the paper’s polling could dominate the campaign and have an impact on the overall media narrative.
So this morning the paper is running the story big and is putting the focus on findings about Labour’s record. This is from the report which I reproduce to give a sense of the coverage.
There are three or four other expensively produced graphics like this.
To me what’s significant is the way the paper is now using its big resources to fund a lot of polling and to report it in a way that fits with editorial objectives. The aim seems to be to make the election a referendum on Labour and Mr. Brown.
The Sun’s important because of its circulation and its perceived influence.
UPDATE: I am trying to get clarification of whether this is a new poll or a part aggregation of the two YouGov polls that the Sun published last week.
The first one (details here) took place on January 5 – 6 and had a sample of 4167 and reported headline figures of C40-L31-LD17
The second one (details here) was carried out on January 6 – 7 with a cut-off point of 4pm and had a sample of 2,832. That had C42-L30-LD16
The third one reported this morning (details here) took place from Jan 5 – 7 and had a sample of 10,344. That was reported by the Sun as having headline figures of C42-L30-LD16 but the data suggests that it was C40-L30-LD17
Confused? So am I.
SECOND UPDATE Peter Kellner of YouGov has emailed me to say:
“Last week’s stories were subsets of today’s poll data.
So VI (voting intention) on whole 10000 is 40-30; but on the most recent, post-putch, data 42-30”