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What's the seat tally for that on EC, Tim?

Well over 100. But as said, it can't be included in the poll averages due to reliability questions. I believe it refuses to sign up to polling guidelines or some such that the rest do.

Big government check,
high taxes, check
Hobbled by Europe... check.

Who cares who wins?

"Who cares who wins?"

What a stupid comment! But, you are obviously not bothered about letting Brown and his discredited bunch of incompetents back in for another 5 years to wreck yet more havoc for us and future generations. Why moan about big government, high taxes or a hobbled EU?
It obviously doesn't bother you that much!

Peter | November 02, 2008 at 03:26 - internet troll ... check.

Interestingly they use raw YouGov data, with their own methodology. And produce very different results, recently....

@awstnpwttanpwom

Not 'very different'.

BPIX have: Con 45, Lab 31, LD 13

YouGov/Telegraph earlier this week had: Con 42, Lab 33, LD 15

That looks pretty similar to me.

Note The Green Box's total lack of mention of this poll. I despair at the bias shown everwhere. If that had been "gap narrows to 8%" then would have been everywhere. Er..? Oh, of course, it was, even on The Brownnie BBC!

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article5062958.ece

An interesting article on Labour's feelings that they are on course to LOSE Glenrothes!
If Cameron were to grab the initiative and really OPPOSE, we would surge into an unassailable lead. I would also hope to see any gloating by Brown over Obama's expected victory is queried with "You said no time for a novice and the largest democracy in the world votes for one!"
LOL!

"BPIX have: Con 45, Lab 31, LD 13

YouGov/Telegraph earlier this week had: Con 42, Lab 33, LD 15"

It looks quite different to me, by about 5 points. 14-9 = 5. QED.

Only a fool would claim otherwise. The average of sensible polls is still in single figures.

@M Dowding - Cameron has not got the charisma, the common touch, the policies, the nous, the gumption, the backbone or the stamina of Obama. That's why this novice is going to win and the Tories probably wouldn't get through a general election with any sort of poll lead intact.

"Only a fool would claim otherwise. The average of sensible polls is still in single figures."

Louise, do you know anything about polling?

"you are obviously not bothered about letting Brown and his discredited bunch of incompetents back in for another 5 years to wreck yet more havoc for us and future generations. "

And Osborne is going to save us hey?

The size of the state is everything to do with out membership of the eu and just about everything is regulated by brussels so whoever gets to wear the big hat is a matter of supreme indifference. Unless that elephant in the room is addressed Cameron can bleat on all he likes but he will not affect any major change. The tories have no big ideas.

@M Dowding - Cameron has not got the charisma, the common touch, the policies, the nous, the gumption, the backbone or the stamina of Obama.

Rubbish, how well do you know either man. Obama is a chancer and if he wins, he will be disastrous. Oprah for LOndon? Please, you would have Russel Brand as American Ambassador, no doubt!

"Political parties have, in addition, contributed to the emasculation of the House through the candidate selection process in seeking only safe, amenable and malleable candidates who will do the Party's bidding on all occasions and frequently without question, whatever their own views might be."

Sir Nicholas Winterton MP


And that is why you are all damned to hell and I don't care who wins.

@MDowding - he's got more ideas than Cameron. I wouldn't vote for him, but how well do you know him?

Regarding polling, I know enough to know that the average of recent polls has been single figures and one result the other way doesn't stop the range being. Also I know that concentrating on anything other than the trend is futile as it tends to get one excited prematurely. Polls often move towards the government when an election is called anyway and bounce against it during the mid-term of a parliament. Therefore the movement since September is negative for this stage as people will fight a general election over three weeks, not one day with a good poll. The "zone" for Labour is to get us down to a hung parliament or small majority, in which case during the election if we don't do a lot more to reverse the current trend over the last two months we will be squeezed even further. The leadership is taking too much for granted, whereas with Obama I have seen him mature and, while I still would vote for McCain, nevertheless he is going to win because he has a lot of charisma and strong talents. Cameron is not arresting a general decline and he is belligerently slapping the face of the BBC because they dared to give him some bad coverage over the Yachtgate affair. That's not sensible strategy for the next 18 months (nor for the next 8 if Gordon wants to go to the country in June (see Portillo this morning, who I agree with for once) - in which case we have lost the chance of another conference to put out the manifesto properly while the country is listening), nor is it even decent tactics any more.

As Tim posted, it doesn't enter into calculations anyway, not because it is wildly different from other polls taken this week, but because the methodology is suspect.

"As Tim posted, it doesn't enter into calculations anyway, not because it is wildly different from other polls taken this week, but because the methodology is suspect."

Really? Do you know who carries out the BPIX polling fieldwork, or who does the methodology?

@Lousie 16:04

"...By definition the lead is the difference between two numbers, each of which is prone to sampling error. Depending on the size of the sample, the margin of error on [Conservtives] lead can range from 4% to 6%."

http://www.yougov.com/extranets/yguk/content/kellnerMain.asp?jID=3&aId=1806

So, if you look again at the YouGov and BPIX numbers, you'll see that the Labour figure 31/33 is within the margin of error. And the Conservative figure 45/42 is at the extreme limit of the margin of error.

Hence, 'pretty similar'.

@Louise 17:59
"Polls often move towards the government when an election is called"

Not so. Andy Cooke looked at data from UK general elections going back to 1979, and his conclusion was that rather than a 'swing towards the government', there is a 'swing towards the Conservatives' during a general election.

My question is when are the conservatives going to start opposing,Brown has so many flaws to exploit, yet no one seems to be stating the blindingly obvious.Everything seems to have fallen apart since DC stated he was supporting the government plans to rescue the economy.Are DC and George without ideas because John Redwood seems to have a better grasp of the situation if they are.

Unfortunately we don't get to see the raw data behind the BPIX numbers as they aren't members of the British Polling Council. However, information from those who are members points towards the Conservative vote being pretty solid. The surge in Labour's figures is coming largely from increased certainty to vote amongst Labour supporters.

I think Louise is unduly pessimistic in claiming that the average of sensible polls is a single figure lead (unless by "sensible" she means polls giving a single figure lead). The most recent polls from the regular pollsters who are members of the BPC have shown:

Ipsos-MORI +15
Populus +15
ICM +12
YouGov +9
ComRes +8

That actually works out at an average lead of around 12%. BPIX are certainly not out of line. Given the incessant media coverage depicting Gordon as the hero saving our economy and telling us that the public are swinging behind him, that's a pretty solid lead. And the answers to the non-voting questions from various pollsters suggest that the public isn't buying the "saviour of the economy" line.

Mike Smithson, who makes money from gambling on politics, suggests that the most accurate poll is the one which is best for the Conservatives. This is born out of analysis of decades of polling data compared to real election results. This continues to be born out, most recently by the May elections (including the London mayoral election) and the Crewe & Nantwich by-election.

As Dave B points out, the data suggests that it is a fallacy that the polls swing to the government as an election approaches and that they actually swing towards the Conservatives. And another of Mike Smithson's "laws" is that the more David Cameron appears on the media, the better the Conservatives do in the polls. Recently he has not had much airtime but that would change in an election. Put that lot together and I would say we are in an excellent position - certainly better than we were at any time between 1997 and David Cameron's election as leader.

I actually think that keeping relatively quiet at the moment is sensible politics. When Brown's plans to save the economy fail, he won't be able to blame the wicked Tories for opposing his plans, thereby causing delay and spreading fear and uncertainty. The blame will be clearly where it belongs - in Downing Street.

When we had a large lead I said we should be optimistic but not complacent. Now the lead is a little smaller but still very firmly in Conservative majority territory, we should still be optimistic but not complacent. We must keep the pressure on Labour but we should not be announcing too many detailed policies at the moment. It is too far from the election. We don't know what things will look like in 18 months so anything we announce now is a hostage to fortune. Continue to sketch the outline but leave the detail for later.

"When we had a large lead I said we should be optimistic but not complacent. Now the lead is a little smaller but still very firmly in Conservative majority territory, we should still be optimistic but not complacent. We must keep the pressure on Labour but we should not be announcing too many detailed policies at the moment. It is too far from the election. We don't know what things will look like in 18 months so anything we announce now is a hostage to fortune. Continue to sketch the outline but leave the detail for later."

Peter, that is an excellent and detailed post. I agree totally with your conclusions. If there is one area that Cameron and Osborne are repeatedly underestimated, its their historical knowledge of our failures since the 90's, and an ability to recognise them and avoid them this time around.

Mandelson and Campbell are back in the Brown bunker, and we are seeing the very same tactics being used to tie the opposition party up in knots as they did in 2001/2005. Cameron and Osborne have been showing a determination not to walk into these pre-set traps either with the government or the media.
I despair when I see some posters demanding that we repeat the same mistakes time and again.

Labour, Tories, Lib Dems. All puppets, with the EU pulling the strings in the background.

Barely any difference between them.

Peter is right to not care about any of them. I hope he still looks to vote for and independent or small party though. Once we start doing that, the sooner we get rid of the current traitor class of politician.

There are a significant number of people who, historically, are ashamed to say they will vote Tory, and this bias has affected polling. There is a significant possibility this trend might be reversed in more recent polling.

"Peter is right to not care about any of them. I hope he still looks to vote for and independent or small party though. Once we start doing that, the sooner we get rid of the current traitor class of politician."

And what, replace with UKIP? You must joking. In fact the day that happens, is the day this country really does become a joke!

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN FOR PERSONALISATION OF DEBATE.

"There are a significant number of people who, historically, are ashamed to say they will vote Tory, and this bias has affected polling. There is a significant possibility this trend might be reversed in more recent polling."

Resident leftie, as far as I am aware, the polling companies have adjusted their methodology to combat this. You have to remember that the polling companies have tended to underestimate the Tory vote slightly, while overestimating the Labour vote at actual elections.
Mori have recently adjusted the amount of public sector workers they interview in light of this. Also think that YouGov polling online has caught more Tories than telephone polling. Mike Smithson has noted in the past that you are more likely to get Labour voters if you do telephone polling.

Peter, I am finding your posts increasingly unpleasant. I don't see the point of gracing sites like this just to be so overwhelmingly negative, especially when many here make the effort and take the time to try and engage with the public as activists for their parties.
I include not just Tories, but others who post here too from other parties.

"In fact the day that happens, is the day this country really does become a joke!"

A first world economy with mass fuel poverty, going cap in hand to the arabs for a bailout and soon to be facing power cuts; we were forced out of Basra and we will lose in Afghanistan. In case you hadn't noticed, we already are an international joke.

All our political classes are doing is trying to delay the medicine our economy needs and making the problem much, much worse. We need out of the EU first and foremost and it will hurt but sooner or later this country will have to pay the price for sacrificing its sovereignty. The sooner that comes the less it will hurt.

At least you can tell where UKIP stands which is more than you can say for this bunch of obsequious, duplicitious, ignorant tory toffs.

"Peter, I am finding your posts increasingly unpleasant. I don't see the point of gracing sites like this just to be so overwhelmingly negative,"

Oh why would I be upset? my country is going to the dogs, Westminster is completely hobbled and we have a failing opposition unable to address the elephant in the room, and unable to offer us anything different. Why would I be negative? If you don't want to hear angry people, I suggest politics is not your thing. You might not expect to hear it inside the cosy westminster blogging bubble but this is reality calling.

We no longer want sterile, vapid and incosequential politics and if you are actually satisfied with this inert talking shop full of self absorbed turds then head over to the Iain Dale site.

A couple of interesting points about this BPIX poll from this thread on PB.com.

[email protected] "Wells, however, lists fieldwork ending 1/11/08; since YouGov does the fieldwork I expect it was the standard two days, i.e. Friday/Saturday.
by LS November 2nd, 2008 at 1:19 am"

And [email protected] from Mike Smithson who owns and runs PB.com.
"I make the same points every month about BPIX whatever the numbers show. The fact is that the “polling” for the firm is provided by YouGov on a white label basis. BPIX is actually a group of academics at the University of Essex who manage the massive BES academic study at each general election.

So the polling is “respectable” but they are not transparent - which is what we have all come to expect.

I think that they should delegate to YouGov the task of making the data available.

There is something they do that usually produces the lowest Lib Dem shares of all the pollsters.

Their poll before the May 2005 general election had C33 (accurate): LAB 37 (+1): LD 21 (-2) which was one of the best performances."

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