Polling: October 2009 Archives

From a small base.

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ComresOctScot.pngA Comres poll for the Independent today shows a pleasingly tiny proportion of BNP voters despite the BBC giving them the biggest publicity spree in their history. 

As Mike Smithson puts it, "The mid-October poll had 8 respondees saying BNP - tonight's survey has that at 13". That's out of 1004 respondents. 

The same poll shows the Greens on 5% nationally (the actual final results are on p22 of that massive pdf), which is pretty promising for Green target seats given the large variability in our vote. 

Deep in the lengthy tables for it I noticed something else interesting. It's a subsample point, and I have in the past criticised those who take those too seriously. Nevertheless, it confirms my prejudices, so it's worth blogging about.

Comres asked their respondents "Generally speaking, do you think of yourself as ...?", i.e. Labour/Tory/Lib Dem/Green/Nat etc. Page 18 shows the results, or click the image above for a look at it.

In Scotland, a quarter define themselves as Labour, with almost as many as identifying as Nats. Despite the better position of the Nats, this makes sense. I know plenty of people who'd still say they think of themselves as Labour people but won't vote Labour, whereas the SNP clearly continue to get the backing of swing voters.

16% identify as Tories, about the level they poll at, pretty much whatever happens. This also seems to make sense. Their base is firm, if much lower than the rest of the UK for some reason, but they pick up few floating or tactical voters.

Then, intriguingly, 6% of this small sample of Scots define themselves as Green, and 6% as Lib Dems. The Lib Dems do continue to poll above us for now: for instance, in the recent Euros they got 11.5% to our 7.3%. 

With some chameleon-like politics, squeeze messages and media omnipresence, they do a lot with pretty low base. Those 5-10% who vote Lib Dem but don't identify with them, though, there's a term for them. Potential Green voters..
paviliongreen.pngThe second annual PoliticsHome superpoll of the marginals is out today, based on YouGov interviews with 33,610 people. They polled everyone, it seems. They certainly polled me - did they poll you?

The methodology seems pretty sound. Anthony Wells grouped seats with similar characteristics - London commuter belt, Southwest Liberal/Con marginals etc - and got a representative sample in each group to extrapolate from. Much more plausible than the old Scottish sub-sample game.

The results (full document, 2.6Mb pdf) are easy to spin as good news and bad news for the three largest Westminster parties, especially given last year's numbers as an alternative comparator. 

Labour are out of government on these numbers, obviously, but down to 199 instead of the ultra-dire 160 seats predicted last year. "It's heading our way", they say, although Tom Harris certainly isn't kidding himself. The Liberals are down 8 to 55, but last year it was worse for them too, when the same poll predicted they'd keep just 44 MPs.

Conversely, the headline figure that puts Dave C into power is a Tory majority of 70, which I think he'd take, but last year they predicted a landslide 146 lead. There are pages and pages of English Con/Lab marginals shown here turning blue, places Labour never reached before Blairism, and places always likely to revert to type. Cumbria's about the only group to buck the trend.

Other parties' results are less equivocal. Last year the SNP leadership was jubilant about numbers showing vast swathes of Scotland going their way, but this year just 3 Nat gains are predicted. I'm personally sceptical about this, but you can imagine the long woad-painted faces of the cybernats as they contemplate page 29.

The best has been saved for last. Brighton Pavilion is part of a group of seaside town seats including Morecambe, Great Yarmouth and and the Blackpool constituencies. In the 2005 election 8% of people voted for parties outside the big three. Last year's poll had this number at 11%, and this year it's a staggering 19%.

The report says: "This is mainly benefiting the Green Party who on these figures would win their first Parliamentary seat in Brighton Pavilion."

I do hope so. Another near miss (as per several seats in the Euros) would be heartbreaking. Also, I note they didn't cover either of our English friends' other targets, Lewisham and Norwich South. That makes them better bets with the bookies, I reckon, Norwich South in particular. 

(politicalbetting.com thread here)

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Polling category from October 2009.

Polling: June 2009 is the previous archive.

Polling: November 2009 is the next archive.