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Probably while mumbling softly "How could they possibly be any worse than the alternative?"
i'm such a twat.
here's the link to the main poll. it's the first question on the first page.
that the libdems would recieve substantially larger 5age of votes were they assumed to be capable of winning and that by voting for them would be the equivalent of not voting against your most feared political party (labour or conservative for most people) and thius most people who would vote for them wont because they fear this would be like giving advantage to that which they disliked/feared the most.
is how many more people you get who'd be dismayed by a given party in power compared to delighted with another.
could be that you get to vote for two parties, tick up to two boxes.
That way you could have your cake and eat it.
It might be that the majority of people might fall into ticking liberal/labour and liberal/tory
In which case the liberals would probably get a fairer representation in the votes cast for them, and would probably win
It's gotta be better than the current system, where Labour could get the least votes and still get the most seats.
the only change that would need to occur would be on the forms and advice (i.e. "you can now vote for up to two parties") and in the counting, which would be slightly more involved.
Each person gets given two votes, one for their preferred MP and one for their preferred party. As it works in places like New Zealand is that of the 120 seats 69 are allocated to MPs - that is, it maintains the link between a representative and his or her constituency. The other 51 (or more or less, depending on how the voting) gets allocated to the members of a party who are running purely on a party list in order to make the overall composition of the Parliament reflect the overall voting pattern.
In the UK, this could easily be brought in by making the House of Lords entirely elected and based upon a party list, while keeping the House of Commons as is. You could then make the two houses equal in terms of passing and proposing legislation, like the US system, perhaps.
The only real problem with this (and it is a big problem) is that it enshrines party politics into the system, which in turn makes it incredibly difficult for dramatic constitutional reform to happen again.
This is actually Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) that I'm talking about. It's also used for elections to the Scottish Parliament.
people would stop voting for them since theyre so mainstream
What a joke.
if weighting is applied properly, is actually a very good sample size - gives approximately a 2.5% margin of error with 95% confidence limits.
You see the box right at the top, above the top question? That shows how they took the 1509 people's responses and weighted them so that the sample is representative of the electorate as a whole.
Weighted samples make perfect sense when you're measuring things not when you're measuring opinions that can be affected by the way a question is asked and even the context of how it's asked in the first place.
biased or otherwise, then it'd still be a long way to being accurate doing it with 1000. So therefore, as a general indicator, it works.
I'm simply telling you how it actually works. Y'know, in reality. It's actually a case of fairly basic statistics. Arguing with how a survey is structured and the wording of questions is entirely valid, but sampling and weighting has been well proven.
this question is somewhat loaded, and wording and circumstance may count for something.
But 'normal' voting intention polls conducted by credible* firms are usually conducted in rigid, and fairly similar, ways.
Scoff at the wording, or the notion of the poll itself, but the 1509 people thing isn't automatically the weak point in all of this.
*i.e. members of British Polling Council who publish their question wording, methodology and raw data etc. in a timely fashion, rather than gimps like OnePoll who do all the storpid polls about which celeb the public most wants to share a sofa with, on behalf of DFS.
I reckon properly weighted political polls tend to be based on anything from 2000 respondents and up.
"A common naive criticism of polls is that 1000 people cannot possibly represent the views of 60,000,000 people. George Gallup, the father of modern polling, used to reply to the point by saying that you don’t need to drink a whole bowl of soup to know if it is too salty – providing it is properly stirred a single spoonful will suffice."
Having said that, Polls are only a snapshot in time, and not a predictor of the future. Things are so flighty at the moment as to be volatile beyond the usual steady trends that we're used to.
you're taking the piss.
Obviously the soup analogy wasn't intended as a mathematical benchmark. But the point stands. If a 2000 person sample is truly representative, then it's widely accepted that the 2-3% margin of error accuracy will not be improved all that much by surveying 10,000 or 10,000,000 people on the same thing.
But as stated, polls are only a snapshot in time and things are clearly in flux right now, so making future predictions based on current polls is less sensible than normal.
...size doesn’t imply representativeness. Famously in 1936 the Literary Digest carried out a poll with a sample size of millions, and George Gallup carried out a poll of a few thousand… but used proper representive sampling techniques. Gallup correctly called the 1936 Roosevelt landslide, while the Literary Digest confidently predicted a victory for Alf Landon. What makes a poll useful is how representative it is – an unrepresentative poll, an unweighted poll, however large, is worthless.
Equally, if you're going to ask, "who would you vote for, A or B", then you're dealing with almost no complexities.
Let's look at when Thatcher was in power and we saw polls routinely coming back saying people would vote Labour but clearly the results showed they voted Tory. The reason suggested was that people felt embarrassed to be voting for Thatcher so claimed they wouldn't but in the booths they went a different way.
This sort of polling gets more and more unsound the more options people have. Previously people have only really ever had Tory vs. Labour but now we have Lib Dems and the differences between the parties are not well marked.
I'd be interested to know how accurate polling has been for elections over the last 20 years and by accurate I mean more than win/lose but percentages compared.
I'm happy to be convinced but 1509, even weighted, seems a very low figure to take with any weight the notion that there is a huge Lib Dem support that doesn't manifest itself.
As TheWza and I said further up, the way questions are formed is always open to debate. For example, you'd get a different answer to "Would you vote Lib Dem if you thought that..." and "... if you thought there was a chance that... "
There's also a certain amount of caution to be had over the fact that it's a hypothetical question, and that the Lib Dems are technically prompted twice rather than just once as with Labour and the Conservatives.
However polling around the European Elections and London suggested that while adding more prompted options would reduce the percentage of responses in favour of all prompted parties, the share between them would stay fairly consistent.
All the known issues with polling (in general, not just politically) are really to do with phraseology rather than the statistical side of things. If the question's wrong, it doesn't matter how many people you ask, or how you weight, you can't have any confidence at all in the result. If it's right, then so long as you take into account the margin of error (around 2.5-3% for this sample size), then you'll get a pretty accurate answer 19 times out of 20.
See caveats below about the Lib Dem rise potentially having broken the assumptions in the polling companies models.
but thats my fault for being a little ball of salty crystals stuck together at the bottom of your broth.
and when you do, it'll give the slurper an almighty shock
every dog* has his day
it looks like in general labour and lib dem voters don't mind what the outcome is as long as the conservatives don't have any form of power
conservative voters are strongly against labour involvement but more in favour of joint rule with the lib dems
LD are going to win purely because they're the point of least resistance. The other two have spent 60 odd years making each other so disliked that voters seem happy with "anyone but that guy".
No chance Lib Dems will win a majority. Even now.
Maybe within my lifetime, but not this year.
they don't need a majority
holding the balance of power in a hung parliament.
that would actually see Clegg as PM. I don't buy it myself and it all seems very unlikely to me, but the theory basically goes:
- Lib Dems win the popular vote
- Tories win the most seasons
- Clegg refuses to prop up Labour under Brown (who gets first chance to attempt to form a government), as would Cameron.
- Tories still reject significant voting reform, so Lib Dems refuse to work with them (they could get away with it with the popular vote).
- Lib Dems form coalition government with Labour support.
- Political Reform forced through & economy improves.
- New election in 2011 with PR, Lib Dems win again with around 38% of seats and form the basis of the first fixed term government.
and unlikely as all that happening is, the main stumbling block is the Lib Dems won't win the popular vote.
Labour: 35.3% (-5.5% from 2001)
Conservatives: 32.3% (+0.6% from 2001)
Lib Dems: 22.1% (+3.7% from 2001)
National turnout was 61.3% (59% in 2001), which I expect will be higher this time around.
A 10% jump is pretty high. I guess it also depends how many votes the fringe parties can take away from the big three.
my gut says that the bubble will burst, but I thought it'd have happened over the weekend, and it hasn't yet. At the moment the Tories and Lib Dems are too close to each other to tell confidently who's in the lead (probably Conservatives, but not definitely) and Labour look to be in a definite third place.
Quite honestly, I'd say all bets are off now, particularly if someone has a particularly good/bad debate in the next two.
No evidence for this at all (obviously), just my gut feeling.
that the effect of the Lib Dem's manifesto launch and Clegg last week has broken the methodology of the polling companies and people could be answering the questions they want to answer rather than the ones they're being asked now.
Trouble is, we won't know until May 7th whether that's the case, or whether the Lib Dems really have managed to tap into some kind of latent desire for reform. That's why I'm saying all bets are off now.
the debate next Thursday, which is due to focus on foreign policy, will be the undoing of Clegg/the LDs because of the fairly strong pro Europe stance on a few issues.
I'm not so sure.
Virtually every single week on Question Time the public have nailed Labour over one thing or another to do with the Iraq (and more recently Afghanistan) debacle. Again and again. Week after week. And the Tories have been impotent in comparison to the LDs on this issue cos they supported the war in the first place.
Having said all that, in the white heat of the backlash at the 2005 election, the LDs only made modest gains. So I think it's fair to say that foreign policy really isn't the #1 issue for the vast majority of folk. IT's just the disproportionately vocal Mail/Sun journos, and the BNP/UKIP fringe.
Hague tried to ride a wave of 'keep the pound' Euro scepticism, but it got him nowhere. The presumed groundswell of feeling (based largely on UKIP success at the Euro election) just isn't there when it comes to Westminster election time.
Furthermore, this debate will be on Sky. Being on a less prominent channel, the debate will only attract a fraction of the viewers that the first one did. Therefore I can't see it having anything like the effect on the polls that the first one did.
Still, it will be fascinating viewing. Will Brown try and shake hands with everyone in the room again? Will he cut the smirking? Will Clegg stop fiddling with his pockets? And, most importantly, who has Dave met in the past week?
But, yeah, it's likely to attract fewer viewers.
Bottom line is that Lab and Con are in some real trouble here.
Cons have pulled everything out of the bag to try and get a majority, but (based on current polling) they're still hovering around the level of popularity that Michael Howard had when he lost the last election in 2005. The more they court popularity, the more the hard right kicks up a fuss and UKIP types gain traction. But when the Tories try to appease those folk, they lose the centrist floating voters to the point where a majority is out of reach.
Labour under Brown are clearly floundering on most fronts. If they let the LibDems accrue much of the support, they could be in some serious trouble. They're apparently broke, too.
Ironically, I foresee a situation where the LibDems may well be in a position where their success potentially puts the future of one or both of the other parties in serious jeopardy and could be put to the sword, but in the end are spared by the LibDem-led implementation of PR.
in terms of wild speculation, unless Cleggmania goes all the way against the odds for him to become the PM, it has been suggested Labour would have to sacrifice Brown, or he would take the bullet, before Lib Dems agree to talk to Labour about a coalition.
and then staring open-mouthed at your computer screen for at least a fun minute.
"The 'big society' is bollocks. It is boiled vegetables that have been cooked for three minutes too long. It tastes of nothing. What is it?"
They do have a way with words, do these Tories.
needed seeding months ago given that it's a pretty complex idea and not an easy sell. The 'change' mantra and 'big society' actually go pretty well together, but at the moment the way it's being pitched it sounds more like blue-sky thinking.
Those in the Conservative Party who apparently want to abandon it entirely are probably mistaken though... any dramatic swerve in the campaign strategy could well play as panic and opens up the easy attack of coming up with poorly thought through policy at the last minute - not much different to what they've been saying about Labour in the last year or two. Whatever they do, it's got to link into the 'big society' theme now they've gone with it.
and fleshed out in the manifesto. A big part of the Conservative's campaign is that they will look to reduce the defecit more quickly than the other parties; leaving their big idea so undefined in the manifesto gives the impression that they won't hit the ground running.
Cameron tries to appeal to centre
Cameron tries to appeal to right