Does it show similar figures to the published poll?
With much of the current GE15 narrative being linked to ICM’s 4% lead poll from Monday it is interesting to note that this was not the only survey being carried out by the firm at the weekend.
On Sunday, as I have reported, I was polled by ICM. The call was initiated from the firm’s big political calling centre in the Bromham Road in Bedford which is, incidentally, only about a mile from where I live. I know that because I asked the interviewer. Recalling the detail of the interview it does not match the Guardian poll published on Monday night. Having gone through the dataset from that survey it is clear that this wasn’t the series of questions that I answered.
Unusually for a political poll the main voting intention question was not put first. Instead the initial part of the survey points asked me to give ratings on a scale of zero to 100 my views of the main political parties and later their leaders.
Interestingly when it came to the voting question the prompt included a full range of parties including the BNP and the Greens as well as the normal big 4. It was as though that one of the objectives of the poll to specifically work out levels of support the parties that are usually classified as “others”.
There was questioning on the issues that I considered to be most important asking me to name two.
So who could have carried out this survey? My guess is that it possibly was the Conservative party itself. On reflection the poll appeared to have been designed to test how the party race was getting on and how effectively the blue team’s messages were getting across at this stage in the campaign.
Phone polls like this one don’t come cheaply. They’re not the sort of thing that a party or organisation that’s strapped for resources can be commissioning. My feeling is that it must have been linked to the Conservative machine.
If I am right then the person who knows better than anybody whether the ICM Guardian poll was an outlier or not is Lynton Crosby.
Meanwhile we know from the other polls that were carried out at the same time and later that there has yet to be corroboration for the CON surge that ICM found.
New TNS poll LAB 35% (+2), CON 28% (+1), UKIP 18% (0), LIB DEM 6% (0), GREEN 7%
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) February 18, 2015