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Wednesday 17 July 2013

Guido Fawked – Selective Poll Spin

Back in 2009, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines told the GuardianI'd prefer the blue team to be in government, not the red team”. As if anyone needed telling. And the pro-Tory spinning has continued with opinion polls: yesterday, Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog told their readers that theblue team” was now neck and neck with the “red team”.
This was accompanied by the pay-off line “who knew union bashing and welfare reform was so popular?” which are the Fawkes folks’ perceived plus points for Young Dave and his jolly good chaps. At first glance, there should be no problem with their reproducing the poll: after all, it was commissioned by the deeply subversive Guardian. But there are polls, and there are polls.
Here's the spin - what about reality?

On the very same day, YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun – for which you will search the Murdoch title in vain, as it brought inconvenient news for Rupe’s downmarket troops – had very different figures, with a Labour lead of 9%. The “red team” was showing a full 40% poll rating, which, if reproduced at a General Election, would see Mil The Younger into 10 Downing Street with a majority of well over 100.

True, the Fawkes blog mentioned that there had been different results in other polls, but only that these had shown higher ratings for UKIP. This is because Staines and his pals are libertarian by pretence, as is Nigel “Thirsty” Farage. But these higher numbers for UKIP are inevitably at the expense of Tory support: polls showing UKIP between 18 and 20% show the “blue team” between 27 and 28%.
via Mike Smithson at Political Betting

The range of poll numbers in the past week has been graphed by Mike Smithson at Political Betting, whose job must be getting a whole lot more interesting as a result. Averaging out the Tory and Labour numbers puts the parties 7.5% apart – not exactly neck and neck. And the Fawkes blog fails to even mention the “Survation question” – whether UKIP is prompted with the three main parties, or as “other”.
also via Mike Smithson at Political Betting

Smithson has also relayed, and graphed, the results of the latest Ipsos/MORI phone poll, which has even worse news for the Tories. This shows that, among those that assert that they are certain to vote, a General Election tomorrow would have a Labour lead not of 7.5%, but 11%, with the “red team” polling 40% and the “blue team” just 29. And the worst news is that UKIP percentage – just 12%.

If Ipsos/MORI are not prompting for UKIP along with Tory, Labour and Lib Dem, the response for Farage’s fringe may have been suppressed as a result. So the Tory vote, from which UKIP tends to gain most, could be down in the mid-20s. But the Fawkes rabble is so caught up with the thought that Cameron has read their blog that they have taken their eye off the ball.

As the USA taught us, we need to check all those polls. Another fine mess.

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