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As long as Ipsos-Mori keeps on getting findings like this, does it vindicate ICM’s methodology?

September 5th, 2013

The Ipsos-Mori polling on which party is the most disliked, the Tories are the most disliked and Labour the least disliked.

Now if we examine why ICM have earned the title of as the gold standard of polling, one of the main reasons is their spiral of silence of adjustment.

To understand the spiral of silence adjustment here’s a brief outline,

The “spiral of silence” came from an observation made twenty years’ ago that the more people became shy about saying they were going to vote for party x, the worse that party did in the polls and the less inclined people became in turn to say they supported it. The phenomenon was discovered by Nick Sparrow of ICM as he sought to explain the polling industry’s generally dismal performance at the 1992 General Election when the voters gave the Conservatives a narrow majority after nearly all pollsters (except ICM) had predicted a Labour victory.

It may help explain, in part, why ICM recently had the Tories tying with Labour, when other pollsters conducted at the same time were showing large Labour leads

If over half the electorate dislike the Conservative party, you can understand why some Conservative supporters maybe shy of expressing their support, as happened in the 90s, then ICM may well be vindicated again in 2015.

You can read Nick Sparrow’s original spiral of silence article from the 1990s here. It is well worth a read.

TSE