If YouGov’s finding on likely turnout in Thursday’s PCC election is correct then taking the 5/6 at 20%+ is a good bet twitter.com/MSmithsonPB/stâ€¦
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) November 13, 2012
Should we be a bit cautious about the findings?
Ladbrokes have adjusted their PCC elections turnout bet following the YouGov poll at the weekend that had 28% in the areas where elections will be held saying they were 10/10 certain to vote.
On the face of it this makes the current 5/6 that it will be 20% or more quite attractive but there has been some ambivalence from the pollster about its 28% figure.
Senior YouGov political polling executive, Anthony Wells, had this to say on his blog – UKPollingReport.
“…28% of people in areas with elections say they are 10/10 certain to vote in this weekâ€™s election. Turnout is notoriously difficult to predict in opinion polls â€“ people invariably overestimate their own likelihood to vote â€“ but at general elections the proportion of people who say they are 10/10 certain to vote has not been a bad guide to actual turnout. 28% however still sounds quite high considering some of the predictions weâ€™ve seen, just lower than the sort of level more energetically contested local elections usually get.”
That doesn’t sound like a pollster being confident about his numbers.
I got on at Ladbrokes when the threshold was 17%. Now it’s moved up to 20% I would be more cautious and would probably give this bet a miss.
An issue with YouGov, of course, is that its polling is restricted to members of its polling panel and it might well be that they have a greater interest in politics than the electorate as a whole.
What could assist turnout levels are the simultaneous other elections taking place on the same day in a number of places. We have three Westminster by-elections, the Bristol mayoral election as well as scores of local council by-elections.
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