Farage’s force is no longer “some other party”
Last year the newbie pollster which is now picking up an awful lot of business, Survation, caused controversy in the industry by including UKIP in its main voting intention prompt.
The result was that Survation began showing shares for UKIP which were considerably larger than many other firms.
The practice for online pollsters had been to list CON, LAB, and LD on the first screen of the voting intention questioning with an option to tick “Some other party” for those not wanting to choose the main three. In Scotland and Wales all the firms add SNP or PC.
The impact of the Survation move was quite marked – higher UKIP shares and lower ones for the “main three” particularly the Tories.
Since then, of course, party politics in the UK has been transformed by the rise of UKIP and there’s been a lot of analysis about the emergence of four party politics.
- Yet most of the industry still treats UKIP in the old way which might be giving us a false picture – understating the party and overstating the others
We know that the UK’s most prolific political pollster, YouGov, has been testing has been testing different forms of prompting but so far, at least, is continuing in the old way.
YouGov also tends to show smaller UKIP shares because it does not take into account likelihood to vote thus understating the impact of the oldies who are much more likely to turnout at elections.
Yesterday the man who is probably the biggest private funder of UK political polling, Lord Ashcroft, accepted a point I’d been making about the presentation of his poll detail in relation to UKIP.
— Lord Ashcroft (@LordAshcroft) June 10, 2013
Maybe Lord Ashcroft could go one step further and change his prompts.
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