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Who’ll win the polling battle of Scotland?

May 3rd, 2007

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    Are punters right to put their money on YouGov?

For nearly six years a battle has reigned in the UK polling industry over the internet pollster, YouGov, which first appeared at the 2001 General election and has now become a serious force within the industry.

It’s methodologies have been very different and has attracted an enormous amount of criticism – usually from parties which have not shown up well in its surveys. In the run-up to the 2005 General Election I repeatedly expressed the view that I hoped that the final results would settle once and for all this debate.

Alas, it will be recalled, all the pollsters converged on the morning of May 5th 2005 and there was nothing to suggest that one type of polling was better or more accurate than another.

    The argument over polling methods will all change after today – for in its final survey for Scotland YouGov is presenting a very different picture from the traditional firms who use the telephone

For this morning’s poll for the Telegraph is showing that Labour is in a much worse position in relation to the SNP than that being reported by the leading national phone survey firms ICM and Pollster. The difference compared with the non-British Polling Council members, MRUK and Scottish Opinion, is ever more stark.

The table above has been adapted from the excellent entry on the election in Wikipedia.

In the betting the YouGov survey has caused a big tightening of the SNP price which now (0400) stands at 0.19/1.

The Welsh Assembly most seats betting, which has attracted very little money, has seen Labour move to 0.02/1 – which is even tighter than I predicted on Monday.

Which polling firm has the most accurate Scottish Election forecast?
YouGov
ICM
Populus
MRUK
Scottish Opinion
  

Mike Smithson – author of “The Political Punter – how to make money betting on politics”






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