How to report opinion polls

by Stephen Tall on August 23, 2006

Accurately (have a bouquet The Scotsman and Gerri Peev):

Voters warm to the Lib Dems as Labour suffers a backlash

THE war on terror and the crisis in Lebanon have sent Labour’s poll ratings plummeting to a near-record low, giving a boost to the Conservatives and especially the Liberal Democrats. In just one month, Labour’s popularity plunged by four points, putting the governing party on just 31 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Tories have gone up one percentage point to reach the psychologically important 40 per cent threshold, but it is the Liberal Democrats who benefited the most, up five points to 22 per cent.

Moronically (take a brickbat thegrauniad and Julian Glover):

Tories open nine-point lead as Labour drops to 19-year low

David Cameron is on course for a possible general election win, according to a Guardian/ICM poll published today that shows support for the Conservatives climbing to a lead that could give them a narrow majority in the Commons, while Labour has plunged to a 19-year low. …

The poll shows former Labour voters switching to the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in almost equal numbers, boosting Lib Dem support by five points to 22%.

A number of Lib Dem bloggers have flagged up the news media’s statistically illiterate reporting of this latest poll:

We should, of course, all get out more.