Archive for the 'Pollsters/polling' Category


Revised analysis of YouGov’s LAB selectorate poll has Corbyn with 57% of first preferences

Friday, August 14th, 2015

The President of YouGov, Peter Kellner, explained in a separate article that they had looked at the polling figures again in the light of the data from the party showing the huge influx of names in the final few days. He goes on:-

“..I have taken the support YouGov found in each of these groups and adjusted the size of each to the numbers provided by Labour on Wednesday. The effect is to lift Jeremy Corbyn’s support to 57 per cent, four points higher than we published on Tuesday. This is because we found that he was especially popular among people who have joined the selectorate, especially trade unionists. As a result he may have gained disproportionately from the 220,000 people who signed up for the election in the past few days.

I should stress that this is a purely arithmetical exercise. We don’t know whether the late sign-ups are especially pro-Corbyn — or have joined in large numbers with the aim of preventing the leftwinger from leading the party. Nor can we be sure how the turnout will vary: implicit in my sums is that the turnout of each group will be the same. If it isn’t, the overall result will be different.”

How the betting now looks

Mike Smithson


By this time next week a large part of Labour’s selectorate will have cast their votes

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015


Time is running out for the ABC (Anbody But Corbyn) campaigners

Although it will be just over a month before the result in Labour’s leadership election will be announced the ballot packs go out on Friday.

The experience of postal voting is that electors tend not to leave their ballots hanging around and fill them in very quickly. So a week today we must assume that a sizeable proportion of the selectorate will have filled in their ballots and put them into the post.

Unless today’s YouGov polling is totally wrong then it is hard to see anything other than a Corbyn victory.

In his commentary on the poll Peter Kellner made a number of points which might indicate that it is not so overwhelming for Corbyn as the number suggest. He observed:-

“Our raw data finds that slightly more people who voted in the last leadership election backed Ed Miliband rather than his brother David, even though David won more votes among individual party members. We have weighted our data to reflect the votes cast five years ago. As Ed’s supporters are far more likely than David’s to back Corbyn, this adjustment has the effect of slightly reducing Corbyn’s overall vote share. If, as some people have suggested, more of David’s supporters have left the party since 2010 than Ed’s, that slight adjustment might be wrong; Mr Corbyn’s support could be slightly higher than we think.

On the other hand, we have three times as many Guardian-reading (and heavily pro-Corbyn) party members as Mirror readers (who divide evenly between Corbyn and Burnham). Could we be exaggerating the power of the Guardianistas and missing some traditional Mirror-reading, Burnham-supporting voters? To explore whether this might affect our findings, we adjusted the data to equalise the number of Mirror and Guardian readers in Labour’s selectorate. This reduces Corbyn’s first-round support by just two points, to 51%, and raises Mr Burnham’s support to 23%…”

All of that could be correct and in the final 2010 leadership polls David Miliband was understated by some margin but nothing on the scale of what would be required with the change required from the current numbers.

Mike Smithson


Good news and some potentially worrying news for the SNP in latest TNS Scotland poll

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Salmond & co should be doing better on the NHS

But a big 2016 Holyrood result looks on the cards


This YouGov polling hits the nail on the head about policies and leadership contenders

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Having policies that poll well doesn’t necessarily mean electoral success

This supports my long-standing view about the importance of policy positions. They have a part to play but only a part. The quality that voters most look for in a leader is competence – the word that the successful Crosby GE15 campaign used repeatedly.

Thanks to Matt Singh (NumberCruncher) for highlighting this.

Mike Smithson


The Corbyn polling could be the 2015 version of what happened to Hilary Benn in 2007

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Don’t attach too much credence to numbers at this stage

There have been only two Labour elections in recent times where there has been polling and we are able to look back and compare the survey numbers with the actual votes received.

In 2010, as I’ve reported before, the final YouGov members’ survey taken after the voting had started showed EdM with a 4% lead in this part of the electoral college. David actually won this segment by 8.8%.

Three years earlier when the party elected Gordon Brown leader without him having the inconvenience of facing another candidate all the focus was on the deputy battle.

The deputy leader polls throughout, as shown above, all had the son of that great Labour icon, Tony Benn, the then international development secretary Hilary. The Benn name resonated very strongly with the party members and in each of the three polls he came top.

    Notice how in the first two polls Benn chalked up three times the members’ first preferences that he eventually received and twice as many in the final survey.

    What members were telling pollsters beforehand was very different from hat they actually did

There’s another interesting comparison with Corbyn. Benn had a great struggle securing enough MP nominations to get on the ballot.

We are now 45 days from the election. There is a lot of time for the mood to change. Things can be very different when those eligible to vote are faced with the actual ballot paper.

Mike Smithson


The issues facing Britain: Immigration and NHS down/ Defence-terrorism sharply up

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015


ORB/Indy poll finds that 76% think that LAB less electable now than it was on May 7th

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

But does this poll really tell us anything?

An ORB poll for the Independent carried out over the weekend finds that 76% of those who had a view believe that LAB is less electable now than it was at the general election.

We’ve not yet seen the dataset or the precise question wording but the overall picture looks gloomy for the red team and sets out very clearly the challenge facing the new leader when he/she takes over the party on September 12th.

    Aren’t we just seeing what happens to most political parties less than three months after a devastating election defeat?

I can’t recall a similar post general election poll on a party that has lost power and is going through the process of finding a new leader.

How, for instance would the Tories have performed in a similar survey eleven weeks after their 1997 election defeat by Tony Blair’s new Labour or in the aftermath of GE2001 when IDS, Ken Clarke and Michael Portillo were slugging it out. In the latter the blue team ended up with the leader who was the most unelectable – something that was blindingly obvious to many inside and outside the party

Inevitably leadership contests highlight divisions because that’s their very nature and we know that voters are more reluctant to give their support to split parties.

The big question is how LAB will be seen when the new leader is in place.

Mike Smithson


Why getting a credible leader is so important to LAB: YouGov polling on why the party lost

Monday, July 27th, 2015


The data that underlines the importance of the current election

Whichever of the four ins he/she will have to be perceived a lot better than Ed was if the red team is to have any chance whatsoever.

This polling should be at the heart of the leadership campaign. A non-credible leader means a likely third consecutive general election defeat.

Mike Smithson