YouGov versus Lib Dem Voice surveys: how do they compare?

As Stephen mentioned earlier in conference, we’ve done a little experiment with the latest Lib Dem Voice survey of party members by asking exactly the same questions as were very recently asked of party members in a YouGov survey. It turns out that the answers from our two different approaches are very similar:

As you may know, there is currently debate about whether or not the UK should replace its Trident nuclear weapons system. Current policy is to replace the Trident submarines with a new fleet of boats, and to replace the ballistic nuclear missiles they carry at a later date. Which of the following options would you favour most?

Replace Trident with a broadly comparable system: 7% YouGov, 3% LDV
Replace Trident with a cheaper system: 32% YouGov, 38% LDV
Not renew Trident and give up nuclear weapons altogether: 57% YouGov, 55% LDV
Don’t know: 4% YouGov, 4% LDV

As you may know, the UK government is planning to build a replacement for the Trident nuclear weapons system. Do you support or oppose plans to replace Trident with a ‘like-for-like’ system?

Strongly support: 4% YouGov, 1% LDV
Tend to support: 8% YouGov, 5% LDV
Neither support nor oppose: 8% YouGov, 4% LDV
Tend to oppose: 28% YouGov, 32% LDV
Strongly oppose: 49% YouGov, 56% LDV
Don’t know: 2% YouGov, 1% LDV

The questions and answers were worded the same, though the rest of both surveys was different and the fieldwork dates were slightly different.

Broadly speaking the figures are reassuring for both LDV and YouGov as we are both finding similar results. The differences on the second question suggest LDV may be polling people who are more opposed to nuclear weapons (potentially leading to speculation about them being more likely to be activists) but the variations on the first question do not support that.

All in all, this suggests that our survey results are generally pretty representative of the membership as a whole, as has also been suggested by the results in internal party elections which we’ve also surveyed.

The important caveat is that our survey results are skewed towards men. This does not appear to affect the results (e.g. surveyed party members of one gender do not give party figures of their own gender better or worse ratings than members of the opposite gender), but it is possible to imagine questions where it might.

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This entry was posted in Polls and Voice polls.


  • This confirmation of You Gov accuracy may be true when they are sampling their Libdem members; so long as we do not extrapolate it to cover their more general polls.
    Our You Gov rating is consistently below that given by ICM et al; I think the current comparison is
    ICM 18, YouGov 11.
    The trouble with You Gov is not its methodology but is client base. They are sampling from the same self-selected pool all the time. So what is the composition of the pool?
    As a member of You Gov I was originally attracted in by the notion that they pay 50p per quick survey completed. ( But you don’t get your 50p until you have earned £50)
    The surveys turned out to be mostly what they call “Brand Index” asking you which of a range of consumer goods you prefer or buy.
    I soon got bored with this because, as a pensioner, my consumer choices are very restricted and most of my answers had to be “none of the above”. Since I stopped answering Brand Index surveys You Gov seem to have dropped me from their net.
    I would dearly like to see an analysis from You Gov of the composition by age and income of its self selected panel. Because I suspect it is not a balanced sample as would be the case for ICM.
    In the meantime I regard the daily You Gov poll as another example of left wing politics at work. After all the people who set up You Gov include Peter Kellner and John Humphrys.

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