Author Archives: Stephen Ruffian

How does Tim’s poll rating compare with previous leaders?

With Tim’s Liberal Democrats being such a reduced force since the election, one might have expected such reductions – and proportional reductions in media coverage – to have affected his ability to make himself known in the one steady, solid indicator of such measures – the monthly Ipsos MORI leadership poll.

Ipsos MORI’s coverage of the question “Is X doing a good job of leader of Y” stretches right back to the second year of David Steel and thus covers the first months of Tim’s immediate predecessors – Paddy, Charles, Ming and Nick.

In his first month, with 22% of the public seeing Tim as doing a ‘good job’ he will be pleased to note that this placed him level pegging with Ming’s first month – and slightly higher than that of Charles, and a whole 7% ahead of either Paddy or Nick. The downside for Tim is that he has a much higher ‘disapproval rate’ (29%) than any of his predecessors, with Paddy being the closest at 19%. The overall score for Tim’s first month was a -7%, which was slightly lower than Paddy’s -4% and Nick’s -3%, but far lower than Ming’s +5% and Charles’ +11%.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 19 Comments

#Libdemfightback: What do the polls say?

Obviously we’re all a little wary of using the polls since the General Election, but it should be remembered that while the polls then underestimated the Tories and over-estimated Labour, they got our tiny percentage pretty much spot on. The only problem was that, because the Tory vote was higher in actuality than predicted, that we ended up losing a few more Tory/LD marginals than we’d ever expected to.

But Pollsters have been amending their weighting…and the ‘Shy Tory Voter’ doesn’t really seem to exist anymore. They’re out and proud! So I’ve been having a look at what the polls have been predicting for a General Election  held today.

The Method

My reading of the polls uses averages to fill in the gaps on the days when there aren’t polls, and then to run seven day rolling figures based on both those averages and the polls themselves.

The model I use is modelled heavily on that of Martin Baxter’s Electoral Calculus model, as featured often in the press. The idea is that one takes the ‘base’ vote of each constituency (i.e. Southport 2010 36% Con, 9% Lab, 50% LD etc), place that against the GE figure for that year (i.e. 37 Con, 30 Lab, 24 LD) and then see how the constituency figure moves with regards to latest polling (i.e. the final poll pre 2015 GE of 33 Con, 33 Lab and 9 LD) and then see how the initial constituency figure moves (in this case to 33 Con, 12 Lab and 35 LD) thus showing how John Pugh kept his seat.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 24 Comments
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