The Futility Monster

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

Pre-Conference Polling

Posted by The Futility Monster on September 21, 2009 @ 06:24

Insert generic opinion poll-related image here...

Insert generic opinion poll-related image here...

It would seem an opportune moment, just before the conference season fully gets underway, to make sure our Monster’s Poll is bang up to date.

The sad thing is that the pace of polling is so poor at the moment that our calculations are still being skewed by some seriously old polls. But, there has been movement, and the index now stands as follows…

  • Conservative: 40% (N/C)
  • Lib Dems: 22% (-3%)
  • Labour: 21% (+3%)

Disappointingly, this movement is somewhat out of date. Nevertheless, I am still confident that the Lib Dem methodology will prevail when an election is upon us. Conventional wisdom shows they improve their standing during an election campaign, and I’m certain it will happen again.

The real test is going to be whether Labour will perform as per the Mike Smithson Golden Rule – that the most accurate poll is the one that has Labour in the worst position. It has form in almost every election in recent memory… but could a serious election campaign motivate the core Labour vote to get out there?

I’m starting to think it will. This may go down as a poor prediction, but I believe that if Labour spin it right, that it will be a closer battle, they will get sufficient quantities of their voters out to avoid a truly astonishingly bad performance in vote percentage.

The real test they will face, however, is that there is no benefit in piling up the core vote in constituencies they’ve already won. In other words, we could still get a better than expected Labour result (e.g. above 30%), but a worse performance than might be expected in terms of seats simply because of vote distribution and the magical workings of our appalling electoral system.

Meanwhile, the Tories are immovable objects at or around the 40% level. At these kind of numbers, victory is certain. But will they go any higher? I would say their ceiling will be 43%. I think they’ve almost picked up all the supporters they’re likely to already, and that support is rock-solid. It will not be switched or persuaded otherwise, no matter what the campaign from now until the election day turns up.

That means the real electoral questions will simply be whether the Lib Dems can continue their pattern of gains during the election, and if Labour can get out their vote in sufficient numbers to avoid huge embarrassment.

In other words, all to play for!

(Note sarcasm in previous sentence).

Our next look at the Monster’s Poll will come after the conferences have all wrapped up in about three weeks time. There is sure to be plenty of polling between now and then. I hope…

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