This morning The Sunday Times have done some excellent analysis based on figures from the gold standard Office of National Statistics that shows
While the virus threat is receding in London and other urban centres, our research shows many of the 44 parliamentary seats in the north and the Midlands that switched from Labour to Conservative last year are suffering an above-average mortality rate. The red wall has become a blue dilemma for a prime minister determined to make last year’s breakthrough permanent.
In England and Wales the overall death rate to the end of last month was 78.9 per 100,000 people. The 44 constituencies that helped propel Johnson into Downing Street, however, had a rate of 87.7, with 14 of them recording more than 100 deaths per 100,000 people.
I’ve been wondering for a while whether the pollsters need to weight for people who have had Covid-19 or know someone infected with this disease. Simple intuition tells me that people who have been impacted by Covid-19 are likely to be more unfavourable towards Boris Johnson and the government whilst the opposite is more likely for those not impacted by Covid-19,
This has been driven by some polling from America I saw a few months ago which showed Donald Trump’s ratings doing much worse with amongst people who knew somebody infected with Covid-19, independent/swing voters seemed to have the biggest swing.
There is the possibility that I maybe over analysing things. With, inter alia, the lower paid and BAME communities being disproportionately hit by this accursed disease, groups who are unlikely to vote Conservative, then perhaps the Conservatives and Boris Johnson are doing better than the polling indicates.
With over 300,000 people testing positive in the UK so far and the experts thinking the true number is ten times that then if they know around ten different people we’re looking at 3 million people impacted, for comparison the Conservative lead in the popular vote in December’s election was just under 3.7 million that’s a fairly substantial constituency.