Figures from tonight's YouGov/Sun poll
: CON 34%, LAB 35%, LD 8%, UKIP 12%, GRN 5%
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) April 30, 2015
YouGov's polling since short campaign started – last night not included pic.twitter.com/RPT8gUAkNd
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) May 1, 2015
For poll watchers there’s a ritual every night at 10.30pm. We go into Twitter an wait for the Tweet from the Sun politics team giving the headline numbers from the latest YouGov daily poll findings. Fieldwork for the surveys starts early evening the previous day and continues to the following afternoon.
For the most keen there’s a YouGov Tweet at 6am the following morning which takes you to the updated three month trend chart and the full dataset of the poll. So generally the final polling news of the day is about YouGov and the first polling info the following morning, usually with further data, is from the firm.
What’s been very striking and a tad irritating to blue supporters, is how little change each new day brings and the fact that the Tories have struggled to secure leads. Overnight it was no different. A 1% CON lead from Wednesday evening had moved to a 1% LAB margin in the latest.
So any really positive news for the Tories from other pollsters, like Ipsos yesterday, is trumped within a few hours.
What we are seeing is the product of the differing polling approaches. Online samples are generally from polling panels whereas, theoretically at least, anyone of the 40 million voters can be part of a sample for a phone poll. For some reason the phone polls are painting a better picture for the Tories
The latter are inevitably a lot more costly to produce and until Lord Ashcroft started his weekly poll a year ago there were only three national phone polls a month.
You read a lot of polling conspiracy theories on social media which are just rubbish. The most precious asset of each firm is their reputation which they are not going to jeopardise by acting in a manner that is anything other than totally professional.
Next Thursday night they’ve all got a huge amount at stake.