The Futility Monster

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

The Monster Moves

Posted by The Futility Monster on March 11, 2010 @ 11:49

Let me cut to chase. Here is the latest Monster’s Poll calculation.

CONSERVATIVES: 38%

LABOUR: 25%

LIB DEMS: 22%

No changes from last time because of one simple reason: methodological change.

But why so abrupt? Well, to get your attention, and then let you scurry off now without having to bother about explanations. Go on, on your bike!

Still here? You must be the only one.

Having glanced once more at my polling spreadsheet, and the deluge of polling data we are currently getting – which will only increase as the election approaches – the excitement of the impending election is ever apparent.

With that in mind, I have been forced to reconsider my polling methodology. I was hoping to avoid having to do this before the election where the methodology can be tested, but I believe there is good reason to.

In the past, my polls were considered over the previous 90 days. This very large window smoothed out the apparently violent fluctuations in public mood that our polls seem to show, something that I deem to be a fallacy. There aren’t millions of people shifting who they’re going to vote for daily. Most of it is statistical noise and variations between polling organisations and their respective methodologies.

But in honour of the election, it seems only fair to close that polling window, otherwise the figures (particularly the sensitive Labour MIN and Lib Dem MAX) are going to be heavily skewed towards older data when we will have vast amounts of fresh data to play with.

So until the election, the figures will now be calibrated based on the last 30 days polling. If that is less than 30 polls, then I will use the last 30 polls anyway, regardless of age. 30 is my magic number for approximating a normal distribution, don’t forget.

Labour still seems quite low for my liking, but this is because of our old friend Angus Reid, who are really putting their necks on the block with their data sitting way out of kilter with the rest of the pollsters regarding Labour’s recent performance.

In any event, I think it’s safe to say that there’s no way all these polling firms, now including: ICM, YouGov, Ipsos MORI, Populus, ComRes, Harris, TNS, Opinium, Angus Reid, the appalling BPIX, and maybe NOP will re-emerge too, will survive post-election. Only a handful will emerge unscathed. Others, especially those recording massive “Others” are going to look very silly. Let’s get real: they aren’t going to get 16% of the vote.

Not only are we getting an electoral war, but a polling one too.

My money is not on the newcomers…

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