Is this what we should use for tonight’s polls?

Is this what we should use for tonight’s polls?

Is the belief in the rigid UNS starting to wane?

With two polls expected tonight – ComRes for the Indy on Sunday and YouGov for the Sunday Times – it will be interesting to see how much the traditional rigid UNS calculations are used to project what the latest shares mean.

For in the past week we have seen Andy Cooke’s remarkable analysis here and here on PB and it’s been gratifying to see that parts of the media have begun to put caveats on the UNS.

First there was Peter Riddell in the Times on Monday with his report of the latest Populus poll and then there was Bagehot’s column in the Economist – both suggesting that what was happening in the marginals might impact on the simple calculation.

It’s also interesting how little we have heard from the UNS defenders. I was very struck by this from Andy’s Monday piece:

What if you disagree with my assumptions? The solution is simple – if you totally disagree, stick with the UNS predictions – but I’d suggest that assuming zero tactical vote unwind, zero marginal targeting effect and zero constituency effect is even more controversial than what I’ve written.

Let’s see what tonight’s polls bring.

Mike Smithson

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