A poll with holes?

26th April, 2012 10:24 am

There has been predictable crowing from the Tories this morning over a poll that puts Boris Johnson 8 points ahead of Ken Livingstone with just a week to go in the race. That’s not a completely crazy result on its own – as I said when YouGov reported just a 2 point lead on Monday “I fully expected the polls to have worsened for Livingstone” – and that’s what ComRes is reporting.

However, when you look at the breakdown by borough you get some unusual results that require a few leaps of the imagination.

According to the ComRes numbers:

Boris leads in Hackney and Tower Hamlets

and

Ken leads in Wandsworth and Kensington and Chelsea (where ComRes reports he has 100% of the vote!)

I’m not saying that these numbers are definitely wrong – but London is a huge and complex electorate, and each borough has its own particular political micro-climate.

I’m not convinced the polling is necessarily picking up what is happening on the ground.

  • Tom

    Eh, you can’t really do that sort of thing with sub-samples of polls.
    For a start, sub-samples involve tiny, tiny numbers of people.  Of the ones you mention, the largest sample is Wandsworth, with 34 people. Even if this was a representative sample, the margin of error for 95% confidence would be ±16%. But as it’s a sub-sample, even this would be underestimating it – they’re not demographically representative or weighted as the overall sample is.

    • GuyM

      Exactly, the results of the research only applies to the entire sample within the confidence limits and not sub-sections of it.

      If you wanted to investigate the views of residents of Wandsworth you’d need to set up a new representative sample within the agreed confidence limits and test again.

      • Carl

        Agree with both the above. Some wishful thinking going on in this blogpost. Sadly the underlying picture seems to be a Boris lead of 5-6 points.

      • GuyM

        In addition the weighting used across the pan London sample would need to be ammended for a different population base i.e. Wandsworth.

        Thus you can make no valid assumptions from sub-sections of the poll at all.

        • derek

          LoL! your answering yourself? but yip Bradford was a lesson. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3XT7ZULNUTPEQWJO5FWMKX6ZVI GRAHAM

    My gut feel is that Boris is ahead – but not by that much.  I’ve a feeling that there are a number of people who like the Boris image and say they’re going to vote for him, but who won’t bother. A big worry for Labour has to be the very low polling for the Lib Dems and especially the Greens – most of whom might be assumed to have Ken as second preference.  UKIP’s vote will almost all go to Boris; if they do as well as some are predicting, that could prove crucial.

  • Pingback: UK Polling Report()

  • Carl

    See here: 
    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/5255

    It would be appropriate to update the original post to link to the above.

    • AnotherOldBoy

      Thanks for the link.  That seems to be a conclusive answer to Mr Ferguson, who still gets a star for effort.

  • http://www.facebook.com/imjoshuabtw Joshua Dixon

    The writer needs to learn about polling before writing such a stupid article.

  • Amber Star

    Okay, maybe sub-samples are not relevant but Mark Ferguson may not be entirely wrong. This poll could be an outlier, or even a ‘rogue’ poll.

    There’s a YouGov poll due fairly soon, so that may confirm or contradict with the ComRes.

    Personally, I think Ken will win. Boris is depending on Labour voters choosing him. On the day, I think ‘Labour for Boris’ voters may decide not to vote or even demonstrate some Party loyalty by switching to Ken at the 11th hour.

    • postageincluded

       Boris’s biggest headache will be getting his luke-warm Labour supporters to make the walk to the polling station. I’m praying for rain.

  • Amber Star

    Okay, maybe sub-samples are not relevant but Mark Ferguson may not be entirely wrong. This poll could be an outlier, or even a ‘rogue’ poll.

    There’s a YouGov poll due fairly soon, so that may confirm or contradict with the ComRes.

    Personally, I think Ken will win. Boris is depending on Labour voters choosing him. On the day, I think ‘Labour for Boris’ voters may decide not to vote or even demonstrate some Party loyalty by switching to Ken at the 11th hour.

Latest

  • Comment Featured Sajid Javid could be the sign the electorate is looking for that the Tory party has shed its ‘nasty party’ reputation

    Sajid Javid could be the sign the electorate is looking for that the Tory party has shed its ‘nasty party’ reputation

    This article is from the new Progress pamphlet ‘Face-off’, examining the potential successors to David Cameron as Conservative leader. You can read the full pamphlet here. Few leaders inspire true fear in their opponents. Those that do, do so because they force people to think again about the party they represent. Britain’s most electorally successful politicians, Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher, were able to reach such heights because they confounded the electorate’s expectations: Blair believed that wealth creation was not […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Tony Blair hits out at Corbyn’s “politics of parallel reality”

    Tony Blair hits out at Corbyn’s “politics of parallel reality”

    Tony Blair has made a new intervention in the Labour leadership contest with an article in today’s Observer, which the paper has splashed with on the front page: The former Labour Prime Minister confesses that he doesn’t “get” frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity, but claims that he is “trying hard” to understand it, and compares it to similar waves of support for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the US presidential race. Blair also says he appreciates that his advice against […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Unions Anti-trade union legislation could face legal challenge for contravening human rights

    Anti-trade union legislation could face legal challenge for contravening human rights

    Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper is ready to raise the prospect of challenging the Tories’ proposed anti-trade union laws in the courts, claiming it might contravene human rights legislation. Cooper says she has received legal advice that points to potential breaches of Article 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which preserves the right of freedom of association, including trade unions. The leadership contender will accuse the Conservatives of trying to use their position to cripple the opposition with […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Labour have been “in denial” about threat from UKIP, says Dan Jarvis

    Labour have been “in denial” about threat from UKIP, says Dan Jarvis

    Dan Jarvis has slammed Labour for being “in denial” about the threat caused by UKIP, in a new report published this weekend. ‘Reconnecting Labour’, which was commissioned by Andy Burnham in July as part of his campaign to become leader, looks specifically at how Labour wins back votes lost to the anti-EU party. Jarvis raises concerns that the EU referendum a new high-profile platform that could cause further problems for Labour. He says that Labour were too relaxed about the […]

    Read more →
  • Comment The Labour leadership contest: too much politics and not enough personality

    The Labour leadership contest: too much politics and not enough personality

    Our recent prime ministers were not elected to lead their parties following general election defeats, and there are many problems with electing leaders whilst on the rebound. One of the biggest is that everyone is still in General Election Mode, presenting manifestos rather than their qualities as a leader. Policies and ideas are not wedded to any one person – any candidate could institute a policy suggested by any other candidate. Having good ideas qualifies one for the top table, […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit