Monday, 7 October 2013

Big Polling

Lord Ashcroft is known for his big polls and for deriving a lot of valuable information from his polls of (typically) tens of thousands of people – much more than the more commonplace ComRes/ICM/Populus/Survation/YouGov (et al) polls.

One very interesting, and pertinent, result from the three such big polls the Noble Lord has commissioned so far this calendar year has been in respect of trust on the nation's economy. This has been firmly identified as by a fair margin the most important issue in the public consciousness, in several polls from other sources as well.

These polls were conducted in January, June and September of this year, and the responses can be tabulated as Cameron + Osborne, Miliband + Balls, or Neither/Don't Know (i.e. 'the rest'). The results were as follows...
  • Jan – Cam/Osbo 40%; Mili/Balls 31%; Rest 29%
  • Jun –  Cam/Osbo 38%; Mili/Balls 33%; Rest 29%
  • Sep – Cam/Osbo 51%; Mili/Balls 28%; Rest 21%
Note the two percent shift from the blue team to the reds over that nearly half-a-year interval between January and June, while 'the rest' stayed the same at around two-sevenths of those polled.

Now, come September, we see not only a huge widening of the gap between those two teams, from just five percentage points in June to a whopping 23% difference in September, we also see the 'uncertainty factor' barely more than one in five. That suggests increased confidence in our economic recovery, as well as the political shift away from the Labour duo toward the Conservative Prime Minister and Chancellor.

This bodes well in terms of the stepwise shift of what will ultimately be reflected in actual votes, come May 2015, and increases the likelihood of a Conservative majority.

In other polling (and related) news, Ed[ward] Miliband's stock has gone up among his/Labour's supporters post-conference, cementing his position as party leader for the time being at least, after a period when it was looking rather shaky.

Of course, the bulk of Labour supporters are easily swayed by the Miliband style (and similar) as some of us have noted over not just a few years but several decades. That does not matter in this context, though: it still makes all of this info' combined a true 'win-win' for the Conservatives.

It's a bit like a Seldon Crisis, an analogy I have referenced before. A logical 'truth table' would show that, whatever any player in this scenario did or did not do, the ultimate outcome will still be the same. Think of the Bel Riose episode from Asimov's Foundation and Empire, and the truth table that was expounded in those pages, and you'll get the idea.

It will come as no surprise to regular visitors to this site that I am continually modelling and revising that model as updated data comes to me, so I already have fairly solid ideas about how the next General Election will go. Not that I am as good on national elections as I am on locals, but it's still useful for me to do this, for a whole range of reasons. I shall say no more for now, though I might soon put my predictions in a sealed envelope for someone independent to guard and open only after the full results are in.

I'm tempted....

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