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If UKIP supporters had answered this Populus online question in a certain way they could have boosted the “value” of their views by a factor of 13

September 12th, 2013

Regardless of which party, if any, you are likely to end up voting for at the next General Election due in May 2015 or are leaning towards at the moment, which political party would you say you have usually most closely identified yourself with?

Yesterday afternoon I was at a polling seminar at the LSE attended by leading academics, pollsters and those, like me, with a keen interest in measuring political opinion.

The highlight for many attendees was the sharp criticism of Populus by GKF-NOP’s, Nick Moon, current secretary of the British Polling Council, for the party ID weighting it is using for its new twice-weekly polling series. The question appears above.

According to the firm the responses are compared “to those on party identification given to the British Social Attitudes Survey in the year of the last General Election.”

In 2010, of course, UKIP had not made the breakthrough that we’ve seen in the past eighteen months. The chart above shows how responses to the party ID question latest Populus poll impacted on this latest poll.

If UKIP supporters had simply responded that they identified with no party instead of UKIP the “value” attached to their views when calculating the voting intention shares would have been 1,309% greater.

Populus generally report the lowest UKIP share of any of the pollsters. Is it any wonder?

  • In July, just after the polling series was launched, we devoted a full post on PB to a response by Rick Nye of Populus to criticism of the ID weighting. You can read it here.
  • Mike Smithson

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