The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Poll Patrol

Posted by The Futility Monster on July 21, 2009 @ 02:30

British Politics Explained via the medium of Microsoft Paint

British Politics Explained via the medium of Microsoft Paint

After a bit of a lull at the start of this month, the past few days has seen the release of a number of opinion polls, all of which have been faithfully recorded on the ever delightful Political Betting.

But as always around these parts, we like to pretend we’re smart and clever by, not only talking about ourselves in the plural, or sometimes even the third-person, but by applying the data through Excel spreadsheets and formulae that mean little but sound very good indeed. In fact, any formula that looks like this: {=MIN(IF($C$3:$C$32=”Populus”,$E$3:$E$32))} and has to be entered by typing in Ctrl+Shift+Return when one is finished can only be a good thing.

And so, with these new polls we have finally been able to calibrate our latest figure for the Monster’s Poll. It looks a bit like this

  • Conservative: 39% (-1)
  • Lib Dems: 25% (N/C)
  • Labour: 18% (N/C)

At the moment, I believe these figures are ridiculous. We are at the mercy of our methodology, which is currently being afflicted by polls prior to the Euro elections which recorded extreme lows for Labour and the reverse for the Lib Dems. It will take time for these outliers to work out of the system, but when they do we’ll start to get a more interesting picture.

In the meantime, it may be more instructive to look at the polls using medians. They are:

  • Conservative: 39% (-1)
  • Labour: 25% (N/C)
  • Lib Dems: 18% (N/C)

That looks a little closer to the mark. Basically, what we’re looking at is a solid position right now, much as I mused about last time. And every day that passes without any change in these underlying facts is another day closer to an election.

Another day closer to a crushing defeat for Labour.

More recent polls are suggesting that the total for “Others” – which had been running high in the run up to the Euro Elections – is starting to unwind, to the benefit of all parties. Perhaps a sign that trust is starting to return? No, I don’t think so either. More likely, as the election draws nearer, people again try to take politics a little more seriously, realising that it is no longer “safe” to protest vote.

Because we Brits (or do I mean English?) don’t ‘alf enjoy voting for a government at General Elections and then using every other possible opportunity we get, local or European, to vote against them in any way we can. In the run up to Labour’s victory in 1997, Labour made gains across the country in local council elections. Then, as soon as they were elected in 1997, it’s been downhill ever since, culminating in their nadir on the 4th of June.

Well, that is until their next nadir.

In summary: a dull month, with ceaseless showers heading in from the right.


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