Is Angus Reid actually the best poll for Labour?

Is Angus Reid actually the best poll for Labour?

Angus Reid Public Opinion

It’s the only one showing them not shedding votes

Our headline might sound counter-intuitive for the sixth survey in the PB/Angus Reid series, published last night, followed an established pattern and once again had 40-24-20 the smallest share for Labour of all the firms.

Yet unlike all the other pollsters to have reported so far in 2010 Angus Reid is the only one that has the party currently led by Mr. Brown at the same level as it was in December. There’s no indication of movement or the shedding of support.

Contrast that with the latest polls from Populus, ICM and YouGov – all showing in varying degrees Labour down on December – the worst being in the 41-28-19 Populus poll that is splashed all over the front page of the Times this morning.

For when you are looking at polls the first thing to check is the trend. How does the latest survey compare with the last one from the same firm?

That was why the Sunday Telegraph’s reporting of its ICM poll at the weekend was political journalism at its most illiterate. For the story that appeared was headlining the precise opposite of what was happening.

Why spend all that money and then publicise the wrong conclusion because the comparison was not with the most recent survey from the firm?

I don’t know whether our harsh words in the previous PB thread had any impact on how the Times handled its main story overnight but well done to those involved in totally changing the emphasis of its reporting. We went from “Gordon Brown’s freefall has been partly reversed” to “Poll shows failed coup hit Labour hopes hard”.

The general picture is that the weeks and days are running out and it’s harder to see how Labour can recover. In this context the Angus Reid numbers were less bad news for Brown Central than those from the other pollsters.

RE PREVIOUS THREAD: Peter Riddel has written to me to say “Sorry Mike you are wrong. You have confused the headline on the front page story-“Poll shows failed coup hit Labour hopes hard”– and one on my inside briefing on page 8- “Brown’s ratings freefall has been partly reversed” . So I did not miss the news story– it is absolutely clear from the front page story. Obviously, we had a different headline on the inside briefing story which highlighted a different aspect of the same poll.”

I am very happy to publish this – and was basing it on how the story first appeared on the Times website.

Mike Smithson

PB: Political Website of the Year
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