Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The pollsters don't want UKIP to come third.

Political Betting has spotted that ComRes, the polling company, is now to count only voters who say they are 10/10 certain to vote for 'others' (including UKIP). For Labour/Tories/LibDems they will still count those who are only 5/10 or more certain to vote.

This will obviously highly distort results. Why discount someone who is 8/10 certain to vote for the LibDems but not for UKIP? As UKIP steadily climbs in the polls and gets frighteningly close to outpolling the LibDems, this smacks of anti-UKIP bias. After all, the Greens and BNP are lucky to get more than 1% or 2% nowadays whereas UKIP regularly scores 5% - 7%.

YouGov also seem to spin things a bit. Their President is married to the EU's infamous high flyer Baroness Ashton and the polling firm has been accused of having left-wing bias before.

The daily YouGov tracker polls are promoted on Twitter with the breakdown of Conservatives/Labour/LibDems. Of course, UKIP doesn't have any MPs - but this looks slightly ludicrous when UKIP are normally 1% - 2% behind the LibDems, and normally have double the support of the Greens and BNP put together.

I don't think any of these companies want to produce a poll that sees UKIP leading the LibDems nationally, somehow.

EDIT: Just remembered that ComRes back in December actually had UKIP ahead of the LibDems nationally among voters who were 5/10+ likely to vote. Presumably that's why they're moving the goal posts now.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nigel Farage needs to highlight this bias whenever he gets on TV. Nothing breeds success like success. If UKIP are seen to overtake the Lib-Dems in the polls, then they may be seen by the public as a credible third party alternative. (in reality, they are the ONLY alternative to the corporatist, Pro EU, pro politically correct, climate changey, multi-culti, soft on crime, big tax, big spending big government. Labour, Liberal and conservatives offering an identical policy platform.

These pollsters must be publicly shamed into changing their polling methods to reflect the mood of the people, rather than as an attempt to shape and manipulate the mood of the people.

The next time Nigel Farage is on BBC Question Time, or Any Answers or being interviewed, he should bring that up. UKIP should also do more to raise awareness of this and should tackle the pollsters direct.

Plato said...

I can understand your frustration - but until UKIP or another small party in GE terms has candidates in virtually every ward/all MP seats - ICM have a point.

If you want to vote Whoever - but there is no candidate, when you get to the ballot box, they choose another or spoil a ballot/walk out.

It up to UKIP etc to make sure they have candidates - even paper ones.

Michael Heaver said...

Plato - UKIP had 572 candidates out of 649 seats. Yet they're being lumped in with the Greens who stood in just over 300 and the BNP who stood in 338.

ComRes have clearly been frightened by UKIP outpolling the LibDems and are making sure it doesn't happen again.

UKIP BW said...

Linking here:

http://www.westbournemouthukip.com/main.htm

Plato said...

I doubt ICM are frightened - they're considered the gold standard pollsters by nerds like us at politicalbetting.com. They also never use leading questions which I'm afraid ComRes are rather prone to for the Indy.

ICM's record for accuracy is Top Three for last GE and within 0.1% for AV referendum. YouGov are miles out, but because they poll daily - get a disproportionate amount of attention.

UKIP need to sort out their ground war campaign machine. We had a very active member in my seat a few years ago - he either retired or died before 2010 because UKIP were invisible in a solid Tory seat.

Nigel going on the telly is fine for PR - but it doesn't convert votes to the same degree that the LD machine does.