The Futility Monster

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

The Summer That Wasn’t

Posted by The Futility Monster on September 8, 2009 @ 06:30

I liked this one so much I'm using it again...

I liked this one so much I'm using it again...

“At last!”, I hear you all cheer. Good news, my friends, the Monster’s Poll is back.

Just a shame that barely anything has happened since the last time we examined the polling…

On July 21, the last time I crunched the numbers, the position of the parties in accordance with our methodology was:

  • Conservatives: 39%
  • Lib Dems: 25%
  • Labour: 18%

And because we decided our poll was being skewed by the effect of the pre-European Elections polling, we decided to use the median figures too, which looked like this:

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

Well… here is today’s Monster’s Poll reading:

Party Median Monster’s Poll
Conservatives 40% (+1) 40% (+1)
Labour 25% (N/C) 18% (N/C)
Liberal Democrats 18% (N/C) 25% (N/C)

In other words, hasn’t it been an exciting summer!

There has been a decent number of polls over the past few weeks. There was only a small two week period at the start of August when no polling appeared to take place.

There has been something of a received wisdom in political circles that polling over the summer can be safely ignored as most people are on holiday. But this year, the polls have looked solid, with all parties reporting broadly similar shares time after time, across every pollster.

The Lib Dems, in particular, are looking like they won’t drop below 18%. Even so, this is not good news for them. They need to be above 20% if they are to stand any chance of avoiding certain losses to the Conservatives – or they’re bound to suffer the fate I was worried about.

Labour, meanwhile, appear to have recovered from their rock bottom moment. The days of 18% are long behind them, though this one poll is still impacting on our methodology. Indeed, even 25% looks a little low given the most recent polling from YouGov, putting them more around the 28% mark.

But it’s all meaningless, because the Tories continue to dominate, and look racing certainties to achieve 40% or more of the vote. Their recovery in the median polling value, even though it’s as small as one point, is a very good indicator that they are pulling upwards. Indeed, in recent days their polls have been above this by at least a couple of points – and if the polls continue to be repeated we are certain to see their value on our medians increase still further. As previously discussed, the solidity of the Conservatives polling truly is remarkable.

The funny thing is that it’s been a very busy summer politics wise. The release of al-Megrahi has been the major consideration of the news agenda, with plenty of soundbites from all sides. It’s done little to change anyone’s mind. But then again, I knew that already. This kind of thing is too complex, too difficult to distil into a clear message, for it to have severely impacted on anyone, much as the Tories tried to blame the Labour Party for underhand dealings with Libya.

And, in any case, most people have already made up their minds who to vote for.

1.5 months on, and Labour now have 1.5 months less to do anything about the Tory tidal wave. Will things look different after the party conferences? Somehow I doubt it.

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