Seems that the latest opinion polls are the next big thing in the election campaign.
I’m not so sure if I’m honest, We’ve seen a lot of widely different ‘exit polls’ after the “Leaders debate” – seemingly working every permutation of who came in 1st, 2nd or 3rd using apparently the same data source (You ! , the public !), and polls which have been published incorrectly then retracted and “nationalised” based on local samples. And the Mail on Sunday now seem to using someone called BPIX to do their polls – who ever they are.
It does make me wonder whether they’re going round getting lots of different polls done and just publishing the ones which make most impact. Certainly Sky News seemed to run about 4 different versions of their after debate poll on Thursday night, presumably because the real results didn’t say what they wanted.
Despite this though, I’m not dismissive of them. If these were favouring Gordon Brown rather than Nick Clegg, I’d be tweeting from the rooftops with the rest of the Labour twibe. So let’s take them at face value – even if they aren’t necessarily all that reliable.
The most sensational of these polls seems to place the Lib Dems as front runners in first place, with Labour in 3rd. As various commentators have pointed out (and sorry for the lack of links tonight – I don’t have the time !) – this could lead to the bizarre situation where Labour ended up as the largest party in parliament, with the fewest number of actual votes; and perhaps the Lib Dems with the fewest seats, and the largest share of the votes.
Will this be the turning point where the Lib Dems finally come of electoral age and seize power ? Or will it be (as Iain Dale has said on his blog) – David Cameron’s Wobbly weekend ?
Well I’m not sure – but I will say this – These polls would certainly appear to have woken the public up, and all of the parties. Last year when we had the Euro elections, the polls looked bad for Labour – not much better for the Lib Dems, and we had a frustratingly predictable low turnout bad news election.
The political geeks (like me) have done their best to liven things up since then – there’ve been better polls for Labour, and lots of games with posters and stuff. Still – until last week – none of it was really catching the wider public interest.
But now it is. Now we’ll see who can run an election campaign.
The polls don’t show what WILL happen. They show that anything CAN happen.
The turnout at the last election was 61.5 % – imagine if just half of the remaining 38.5% decided to vote this time round.
Anything really COULD happen.
So what I’m taking from these polls is this : It really is #GameOn !
UPDATE : Just came across this blog on the Sky polling after the ‘Leadership Debate’ – it’s a beauty. Respect to Loveandgarbage ! : Leadership debate – pie in the Sky
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