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« Has David Davis driven the final nail into the coffin of Michael Howard's reforms? | Main | Lord Hodgson's case for democracy »

Comments

malcolm

Thought I'd make my post the 100th!Oberon,glad to see you've recovered your senses!But you've got the wrong DD.This is David Davies a new MP.

Simon C

The numbers in this week's polls look good for Ken Clarke. But the dangers of quantitative polling (simple head-counts) such as this are that they offer only a snap-shot, and that they provide no explanation of why people have reached those conclusions.

That's why organisations that are serious about understanding public attitudes also do qualitative research, so that they can understand the underlying reasons. Focus groups are a good example of this type of research.

James Hellyer has already pointed out this difference. It is a vital one. Unless we understand why the numbers stacked up as they did, we will probably draw the wrong conclusions from them.

Oberon Houston

Sorry David DAVIS, please accept my sincere appologies.

The women also thought it was DAVIS though. Maybe there is more confusion ahead on these very similar names.

GaffaUK

James - if recogition was the same as popularity then why did the Tories throw Thatcher? Because she was UNPOPULAR - and I think that addresses point. Get it?

Again if popularity was the same as recognition then unfortunately Big Brother contestants would be running the country by now.

Crying over the BBC coverage seems a bit of a smoke screen. The BBC has over the years been criticised for being too right-wing and too left-wing by various groups. Compared to most world TV it does a pretty good job. Rememember - the BBC was almost at war with the Blair government over the Hutton report. In fact the BBC has done a better job at criticising Labour than her Majesty's so called opposition.

Also the same criticism can be made over the press - but I don't see you critising the insidious Daily Mail or the Tory house magazine - Daily Telegraph. Both which are far more biased and probably has a bigger readership than those who watch Newsnight.

David David hasn't entered the contest so far - so he isn't going to get much coverage is he? Also I see much publicity over David Cameron flat tax - a sure voter loser if I ever did one.

The majority of the country can't name a cabinet minister - but if you ask those who can name cabinet ministers and who do take a passing interest in politics I suspect you who will find them hard pressed to know much about David Davis, David Cameron and Liam Fox.

And although John Major lost the 1997 election due to his incompetent leadership, believing that the years Labour spent ditching their socialism (and values) and improving their PR made no difference to their landslide is breathtaking.

James Hellyer

"James - if recogition was the same as popularity then why did the Tories throw Thatcher? Because she was UNPOPULAR - and I think that addresses point. Get it?"

In heavens name, stop putting forward these false arguments. I did not say that popularity is the same as recognition. However, Ken Clarke automatically gains a massive lead in these polls because he's recognised. People pick the name from the list that they are familiar with.

With Thatcher, people were comparing the party's polling under her leadership to Labour's polling under its leadership. That's what showed there was a problem. Whereas with the leadership election you are taking findings based upon incomplete knowledge (people don't know the candidates) and guesswork (what they offer)and are extraplolating a result without an allowance for only one of the candidates being an estabished national figure, whereas both Thatcher and Kinnock were established national figures.

"Crying over the BBC coverage seems a bit of a smoke screen."

Yes, obviously the most watched broadcaster in the UK has no influence at all. [/sarcasm]

"Also the same criticism can be made over the press"

That;s why I said Clarke benefitted from media coverage (see his 12 point gain between Populus polls). There's more to the media than the BBC.

"And although John Major lost the 1997 election due to his incompetent leadership, believing that the years Labour spent ditching their socialism (and values) and improving their PR made no difference to their landslide is breathtaking"

You are railing against a phantom argument. I never said any of that.


GaffaUK

James - you are saying that Ken Clarke is more popular because he is more recognised. I did not claim that you said this was the same - only that you, in my opinion are getting the two confused - or in more polite way of putting it - you are putting too much weight behind recognition adding to popularity.

I would say you have a patronising view of people if you think they just pick the person they most recognise in a poll to see what person they would most like to become PM.

No matter how long a politician is established - there is always incomplete knowledge. When Kinnock became leader of the Labour Party in 1983 - I believe he had hadn't been involved in front-bench politics for that many years - probably less than Davis.

And becuase Clarke gets more coverage in the hostile Tory press doesn't mean it's favourable. And you avoided my comments on how bias and how many people read the Daily Mail and Telegraph. And that David Davis hasn't started his campaign yet. Nor that the BBC can't be all that bias e.g. Hutton Report.

So you agree that Labour victory was in part to do with people voting postively for Labour as well as Major's mismanagement?

James Hellyer

"you are putting too much weight behind recognition adding to popularity."

No I'm not. If people DO NOT KNOW who somebody is, they will not offer that persons name in answer to a poll question. That's why the Thatcher comparison is flawed. People would be comparing two known quantities - Thatcher and Kinnock. In this poll they were comparing Ken and lots of people most of them wouldn't have heard of.

There is proof positive that this how these polls work. In July the BMRB conducted a poll that gace Lord COe 20% support for a leadership bid and put Clarke in the low thirties. That the poll survey coincided with Coe's Olympic bid is definitive proof that people suggest and vote for names they recognise.

"And becuase Clarke gets more coverage in the hostile Tory press doesn't mean it's favourable."

It stillmmeans that more people know who he is. And I'd hardly call the Tory press coverage of him hostile...

"And you avoided my comments on how bias and how many people read the Daily Mail and Telegraph. And that David Davis hasn't started his campaign yet."

Both those papers give CLarke extensive coverage, while your comment re. Davis only serves to support my argument.

"Nor that the BBC can't be all that bias e.g. Hutton Report."

The BBC can be biased and they are biased. They approach all issues from a left of centre worldview. If there's a problem in the public services, the question they ask is always about insufficient resources being allocated.

Also this isn't an election where they are obligated to give equal coverage to all sides. Rather like the US elections in fact...

"So you agree that Labour victory was in part to do with people voting postively for Labour as well as Major's mismanagement?"

Yes, the Major factors were Labour ceasing to look like throwbacks to the 70s and the Conservatives destroying their own reputation for economic competence.

GaffaUK

Hi James

Well we have to agree to disagree. Kinnock was no more of known quantity in 83 that Davis is now - so I don't see how the comparison is flawed. I would accept popularity is interlinked with recognition but this by no means that recognition is guaranteed popularity. You can be recognised and very unpopular. Also I would say that is often, in politics, that if you are popular that it is likely people like your stance on issues as well.

Finally if someone within a party (and main parties are supposed to be a broad church) - is recognised and popular then that is a tremendous asset. Otherwise if you believe someone has to spend years in the job to be fully recognised and popular - then maybe the Tories should of kept IDS - maybe after a few decades he could become recognised and popular? lol


James Hellyer

"Well we have to agree to disagree. Kinnock was no more of known quantity in 83 that Davis is now - so I don't see how the comparison is flawed."

The comparison between Kinnock vs Thatcher and Clarke vs the others is the one I mean is flawed. In the case of the former, people were comparing Thatcher to a known alternative for government. In the case of that latter they are comparing Ken to MPs they don't know.

"You can be recognised and very unpopular."

True, but that won't be reflected in a poll like this. People will pick the person they know unless they actually have knowledge of the contestants.

"if you believe someone has to spend years in the job to be fully recognised and popular - then maybe the Tories should of kept IDS - maybe after a few decades he could become recognised and popular?"

Well, under IDS the Conservatives polled several points higher than ever have since he was deposed. Like many things, IDS's unpopularity is something of a myth.

In any case, my point was not that being recognised makes you popular, it's that you won't register as popular if nobody recognises you.

James Hellyer

"Well we have to agree to disagree. Kinnock was no more of known quantity in 83 that Davis is now - so I don't see how the comparison is flawed."

The comparison between Kinnock vs Thatcher and Clarke vs the others is the one I mean is flawed. In the case of the former, people were comparing Thatcher to a known alternative for government. In the case of that latter they are comparing Ken to MPs they don't know.

"You can be recognised and very unpopular."

True, but that won't be reflected in a poll like this. People will pick the person they know unless they actually have knowledge of the contestants.

"if you believe someone has to spend years in the job to be fully recognised and popular - then maybe the Tories should of kept IDS - maybe after a few decades he could become recognised and popular?"

Well, under IDS the Conservatives polled several points higher than ever have since he was deposed. Like many things, IDS's unpopularity is something of a myth.

In any case, my point was not that being recognised makes you popular, it's that you won't register as popular if nobody recognises you.

GaffaUK

"IDS's unpopularity is something of a myth."

If a majority of your colleagues vote you out after 2 years and before yo have even fought a general election that is unpopular. Not much myth there.

Also interestingly enough, with all this banter about Clarke being unloyal and not supporting the shadow cabinet - wasn't it IDS who was the constant thorn in John Major's side in the early 90s over Europe. And a decade later IDS tells the Tories - 'to unite or Die'. Such hypocrisy.

James Hellyer

"If a majority of your colleagues vote you out after 2 years and before yo have even fought a general election that is unpopular. Not much myth there."

How does that prove he was unpopular with the general public? The Conservative party has never matched its pre-Betseygate poll ratings.

"Also interestingly enough, with all this banter about Clarke being unloyal and not supporting the shadow cabinet - wasn't it IDS who was the constant thorn in John Major's side in the early 90s over Europe. And a decade later IDS tells the Tories - 'to unite or Die'. Such hypocrisy."

IDS was a Maastrict rebel, something used as an excuse for disloyalty by those who opposed his leadership.

I really don't see that it was hypocritical to say "unite or die". The differences in the Major years were on a fundamental issue of policy. THe differences with IDS were over personality and polling results.

GaffaUK

So why did they dump him - if the Tories didn't think he was good enough to win in the General Election?

Just to remind you...

"A clutch of polls, by YouGov and other companies, has brought bad news for the Conservatives and its leader. YouGov's Mail on Sunday poll, conducted on October 2 and 3 after the end of the Labour party conference, showed Labour back in front of the Conservatives for the first time since June, albeit by the narrowest of margins: just 1%. The same poll showed that just 22% think Iain Duncan Smith is doing well as Tory party leader, down ten points since April.

A separate YouGov poll for Sky News finds that only 12% of the public, and just 24% of Conservative supporters, think IDS is the right person to lead the Conservative Party. 57% of the public, and as many as 53% of Conservative supporters, think he is the wrong person. Only 14% of the electorate now think Mr Duncan Smith would make the best Prime Minister a figure that puts him well behind both Tony Blair (35%) and Charles Kennedy (22%)."
Peter Kellner, YouGov October 06, 2003

Can you explain this myth?

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