Friday, 8 March 2013

New Lord Ashcroft Mega-Poll

With a sample size of some 20,022, Lord Ashcroft's latest commissioned poll is likely (though, strictly speaking, not guaranteed) to be closer to the real thinking in the country than the more typical polls of a thousand or so sampled.

The only figures I have from this mega-poll so far are for the "preferred outcome of the General Election in 2015". This comes out as 39% for a Labour overall majority and 30% for a Conservative overall majority. These are similar to the voting intention figures we have been seeing for quite some time now, so the two related-but-different sets of results seem to run somewhat in parallel.

The rest of the respondents apparently prefer a further coalition, but for some reason the two options of a Conservative-LibDem and a Labour-LibDem alternative have been lumped together. This brings them to 31%, which is a single point higher than the "Conservative majority" figure.

This Munton-esque sleight of hand appears, on the surface, to have been done that way purely to gereate that very fact. I have already seen my (so far) only source claim that a Conservative win is the "least preferred" outcome.

I am sure that the full poll when published will show separate figures for those two choices of coalitions, and indeed that will be very interesting to know anyway (if you think about it), rather than this seemingly manipulated combined percentage. After all, if coalitions are to be treated as mere variants within the same 'box' then surely so should majorities, to be consistent.

No doubt the full information will be made available in the next day or two, and perhaps someone such as Dr Anthony Wells will give an impartial assessment of what it all really means – unlike my only source on this so far, which has had an increasingly obvious and very specific anti-Conservative bias for quite some time now, and consequently can no longer be fully trusted. UPDATE 9 March: it's now here.

UPDATE @ Midnight on 8 March: Here is Lord Ashcroft's detailed discussion on the Liberal Democrats with regard to the mega-poll, as they go into their Spring Conference in Brighton this weekend. There are links to the full report and the data tables on the linked page, both of which I have downloaded and intend to study in some detail over the weekend.

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