YES still ahead in AV polls that ask the actual question

YES still ahead in AV polls that ask the actual question

Latest AV referendum polls Date YES % NO % Question wording
Angus Reid 25/01/11 35 (-2) 21 (+1) Actual wording on the ballot
YouGov/Sun 25/01/11 32 (nc) 41 (nc) Bespoke wording – referring to the fact that this is a proposal from the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition
ComRes/Indy on Sunday 14/01/11 36 30 Actual wording on the ballot
ICM/Guardian 19/12/10 44 38 Actual wording on the ballot

How close a battle is it going to be?

With YouGov’s latest daily poll for News International showing a share for the Lib Dems at barely half what ICM was reporting on Wednesday the battle of the AV polling goes on – and this is about an election that is just three months away assuming that the Labour Lords filibuster doesn’t delay it.

The pollsters that follow the widespread international polling practice with referendum surveys of using the precise wording that’s on the ballot are pointing to a YES outcome. YouGov seek to explain what AV is and remind people that this is a proposal from the Lib Dem – Conservative coalition and in recent months have consistently reported that NO is ahead.

In a way both approaches have merit. For a key part of what’s coming from the Labour opponents of change is to make this a referendum on the yellow tie up with the blues.

A big question is how the campaign itself – which reaches a critical stage during the build-up to the royal wedding – will influence the outcome. That’s very hard to call until we get a clearer idea of how both sides are handling it.

There’s also the question of how high a profile Ed Miliband wants to play on behalf of the YES camp. Labour voters are critical. Tory supporters, whatever the polling, tend to be against – Lib Dems supporters are mostly in favour. YouGov has Labour voters saying NO while the other pollsters have them saying YES.

Mike Smithson

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