This week being the third of the month has seen a glut of phone polls. We’ve had ICM, ORB, Ipsos MORI and last night ComRes all showing substantial REMAIN leads.
Inevitably this has had an impact on the huge EUref betting markets where on Betfair alone getting on for £0.5m is being wagered each day. As I write REMAIN’s chances are rated by the market at 79% just about the highest it has ever been.
But what if there were no phone polls and we just had to rely on the cheaper internet ones. The table above shows how the last few weeks would have looked. The race would have appeared to be neck and neck and the betting would have had it much much closer.
I get asked many times a day in Tweets like this which mode I think is best and I’ve now got a standard response.
.@andrewbonser I plan to give a definitive answer to that sometime on June24th
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) May 19, 2016
The big thing, of course, is confirmation bias. People, as we see so often on PB and I am as guilty as anyone, trust most the evidence that supports their position.
The very successful performance of the online polls in the May 5th London Mayoral race reinforces the point that this form of polling can be very accurate indeed. The only phone poll had a Sadiq margin much bigger than the actual result.
At the moment I’m not betting on the referendum. I don’t regard the REMAIN price as value.