A quick word on the polls

Yes, I know the monthly poll round-up here is sacred. But before we all chow down to our weekend Smeargate extravaganza, let’s briefly consider the latest exploits of BPIX.

As regular poll-watchers will know, we don’t incorporate BPIX’s figures into our monthly round-up at LDV because, uniquely among pollsters, their figures and filters are not published for scrutiny. It should be noted that BPIX commission Yougov to carry out the actual polling, but then apply their own undisclosed filters and methods to interpret the findings. BPIX only works for the Mail.

Last time they polled, in November, the Lib Dems scored a pretty awful 13%. Our range across all polls that month was 12-19%, so the BPIX result was merely at the lower end of what was confirmed, albeit in a volatile manner, elsewhere. The same poll put the Conservatives on 45%, in a monthly range of 37-45%.

Now, this weekend another poll was published by Marketing Sciences (ICM in disguise apparently) which put us on a healthy 21% but – far more importantly – only 5 points behind Labour. So, even with all caveats about BPIX in place, I was watching out for their final figures to see if this trend of a closing gap to Labour was confirmed, no matter what the actual figures.

BPIX’s poll in today’s Mail puts the Conservatives on 45%, Labour on 26%, Lib Dems on, er… To Be Confirmed? It’s a poll, not a Facebook event. Why are we still waiting, nearly twelve hours after the figures for the other two were released, for our figures? Has anyone spotted them elsewhere? We can’t look them up for ourselves, of course, because BPIX don’t publish detailed figures.

Cynical hat on. Maybe they were deemed too good?

All figures from UK Polling Report.

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13 Comments

  • Richard Whelan 19th Apr '09 - 11:51am

    I have worked it out to be something similar too on the basis that ‘Others’ will have scored 12 per cent.

    What does everyone else think?

  • Alix Mortimer 19th Apr '09 - 12:40pm

    It certainly counts as let’s-skip-that-one, I should think. They’re only happy when we’re in the low teens. I wonder where Tim got that figure from? Still not up on UK Polling. Called someone at BPIX, presumably.

    I’m glad you drew my attention to that, though, as I see Tim is taking the most recent YouGov poll as his baseline, rather than the previous BPIX. Slightly questionable, I’d have thought, since we have no proof at all that the data is treated in the same way.

    Possibly it’s relevant that comparing this BPIX result to the last BPIX result would show no net change in the Conservative rating, even after Smeargate, Porngate, Sistergate etc? Ooh, I am awful.

  • David Morton 19th Apr '09 - 2:15pm

    Not upto your usual standards Alix. You are you just factually inaccurate to say that we were still waiting over 12 hours later for the LD BPIX rating to be published. It was on politicalbetting.com within about an hour of the original Mail article yesterday evening and came via of all biased sources Tim Montgomerie. Your ( very poorly drafted ?) article at least suggests that this ( non existant) 12 hour delay was some how BPIX’s fault. Do you have any evidence of this ? Isn’t the simplier explaination for their non appearance in the Mail article that the Mail didn’t choose to include them ?

    Overall what struck me about this post is the shrill, slightly paranoid tone that some how dark forces where conspiring to prevent news of a LD polling surge reaching the public. Last night saw two polling results. Con 45/43 Lab 26/26 and LD 17/21

    The Lab/Con figures look remarkably consistant to me. The 4 point gap between the LD figures ( and remember that standard margin of error is 3% ) are simply what you get between internet and telephone pollsters but particualrly the way ICM structures its questions. There are reasons to argue that ts ICM’s question structure that prompts slightly higher LD figures.

    Finally why the fuss. If you ignore BPIX as non BPC registered and lacking in transparency ( and wouldn’t ignoring them have been better than a half baked hatchet job ?) all we are left with is an ICM-by-another-name poll showing us up 3% ( within the margin of error) to 21% a heady height that Ming Campbell achieved.

    Polls : report them all, report them monthly in a round up but don’t post specially only when they are good ones.

  • Cheltenham Robin 19th Apr '09 - 4:05pm
  • David Morton 19th Apr '09 - 4:35pm

    James,

    As you righly said it is reported on http://www.politicalbetting.com at comment 104 on one thread however they accurately cite sky news as the source which is a little more mainstream. The Lib Dem figure was thus available 2 hours 5 mins ( I said within about an hour in my original post – sorry) after the mail article went live. thats 12 hours before this published article alleges the figure was still not available.

    Anyway I’m being far to critical of poor alix who does sterling, unpaid and I imagibe largely thankless work keeping this site going. My main targets are

    1. BPIX. whoes website has been under contruction for over a year. they don’t deserve the publicity that even a hatchet job gives them. Though its worth pointing out that lack of transparency doesn’t mean inacuracy

    2. Poll Obsession ( say he writing this) We have been through all of this with the “snow and strikes” bouncelet a few months ago.

  • 17% – it was reported in the paper version at least – but you have to have the shame of looking through the Mail on Sunday in WHSmith to see it.

  • David Morton 20th Apr '09 - 10:08pm

    Tommorrows Guardian ICM : Con 40 Lab 30 LD 19 Others 11

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