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Remember the 2009 Euro elections when ICM was the pollster most out with UKIP

July 16th, 2013

After last night’s ICM poll which has UKIP down to 7% with the CON and LAB level-pegging it is inevitable that people will focus on the firm particularly its record with Farage’s party.

    There’s little doubt at the moment that the main differences between the pollsters is what they are recording for UKIP. If they find Farage’s party getting a high share then the Tories are doing worse.

The chart above shows the UKIP shares in the final polls before the June 2009 elections. As can be seen all the firms, bar one, did pretty well with UKIP. ICM was the exception.

Although the firm has the best record of all for general election polling its performance at the 2009 Euro Election was not very good. It had with comparisons on the actual outcome CON 30 (27.7): LAB 24 (15.7): LD 18 (13.7): UKIP 10 (16.5): GRN 9 (8.6): BNP 1 (6.2).

So not only did ICM undershoot the UKIP share by 6.5% it also had the party in fourth place when, in fact, it finished second.

Interestingly given the current argument about prompting parties in polls ICM did prompt for all the parties. See the polling data here.

The latest Westminster poll with the Tories level pegging is the best position for the blues since the ICM survey just before Osborne’s 2012 budget. That had the Tories 3% ahead.

    Interestingly in that ICM March 2012 survey the firm recorded a UKIP of just 1% which then was out of line with other pollsters.

So what is the “true” position at the moment? This is very hard to say. This is the overnight YouGov poll when the fieldwork took place on Monday.

I will be looking further on UKIP polling, particularly the new Populus online survey, in another post.

We should be getting the July Ipsos-MORI poll in the next two days.

Mike Smithson

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