New poll: Should Lib Dem Voice cover opinion polls?

by Stephen Tall on July 25, 2007

When site founder Rob Fenwick started Lib Dem Voice he made it perfectly clear readers would have to go elsewhere if they wanted to obsess about the ups-and-downs of political opinion polls.

He had, and has, a valid point.

Newspaper coverage of opinion polls is inevitably sensationalist; after all, they want to get their money’s worth of coverage. Even sites like increasingly try and read trends into even the smallest of fluctuations in support, well within the margin of error. The best, and usually pretty impartial, analysis of the polls is written by Tory activist Anthony Wells, over at YouGov’s UK Polling Report blog.

Equally, Lib Dem Voice attracts its fair share of political anoraks, who positively salivate over each and every opinion poll.

The question is, therefore: should Lib Dem Voice report opinion polls when they are published? And what better way to settle the issue than by conducting our own poll? It’s now live (see right), and the three possible options are straightforward:

Yes, LDV should report opinion polls;
No, it shouldn’t;
Only if they’re good for the Lib Dems

Over to you…

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Absolutely yes – almost everyone who reads Lib Dem Voice will discuss them anyway so why not a party discussion?

by Rob Blackie on July 25, 2007 at 11:35 am. Reply #

Yes, whilst being realistic and avoiding a reactionary, sensationalist Fleet Street-esque approach.

In defence of, Smithson may use slightly sensational headlines but mainly as questions in order to stimulate debate (“ie. “More Problems for Dave?”), rather than stating directly that a slight fluctuation is more telling than it is. He also looks at polling trends over time, and the methodological robustness of each pollster.

by Julian H on July 25, 2007 at 12:08 pm. Reply #

Why does it tell me to stuff the ballot box elsewhere when I try and vote?

by welshproudliberal on July 25, 2007 at 12:10 pm. Reply #

Maybe have a ‘Polls’ section in addition to ‘News’ & ‘Opinion’ so those interested can get down dirty, and those not can, er, not.

by Bridget Fox on July 25, 2007 at 12:21 pm. Reply #

Of course we should. If you are reading this then you are choosing to look at Liberal Democrat Voice. Face it, you are a political anorak. Let’s not be embarrassed about this.

by Stuart on July 25, 2007 at 1:07 pm. Reply #

Love the quote Stuart. Semi-guilty.

I have a poll about whether LDV should have polls about whether LDV should cover polls…

More seriously, would your effort not be better spent on policy or reporting.

Why not syndicate the UKPollingReport feed – either just the headlines or the content too.

Use the right plugin, and you could syndicate it *and* allow comments here. Courtesy would indicate asking Anthony if you are going to allow comments on a syndicated feed.


by Matt Wardman on July 25, 2007 at 3:09 pm. Reply #

Face it, you are a political anorak.

You can be a political anorak and still think polls are the most pointless thing since the Spice Girls’ reunion tour… 🙂

by Rob Fenwick on July 25, 2007 at 4:39 pm. Reply #

No. I read LD Voice as our own party vox pop; to read and exchange views on our own party policies.
It is communication at a more effective and personal level than the letters page of LD News.
There are many areas of LD policy that need to be kicked around a bit.

I also read PB eagerly for the polls, but they are a different thing, just a snapshot of trends and not really significant unless you are a punter.
There are some six or more polls a month and if you clutter up the site with ths you will dilute the discussion forum element.
Elizabeth Patterson

by Elizabeth Patterson on July 25, 2007 at 6:50 pm. Reply #

For readers minor fluctuations in polls can be significant if they affect the longer term markets (eg seat spreads)

Mind you if I want polling data I go to More than enough there to keep people happy 🙂

by Hywel Morgan on July 25, 2007 at 6:56 pm. Reply #

Success depends on and demands using every tool at your disposal at some point; the pure subjectivity of polls requires that it is properly sectioned and compartmentalised to clarify the boundary between the nitty-gritty policy talk and the speculative opining of any loud-mouths who choose to open up on here at LDVoice.

by James S. on July 25, 2007 at 10:52 pm. Reply #

If the details of polls are posted they should be all polls from reputable companies and not just be the headlines.

We should if possible publish more of the information. Look at the recent poll which showed Cameron as incredibly unpopular – the choices offered did not include one obvious option casting doubt onto the headline result.

by Tristan Mills on July 26, 2007 at 10:38 am. Reply #

No. Signal is dwarfed by noise in the latest poll. If they must be covered, do a round up once per quarter based on a moving average.

by Joe Otten on July 26, 2007 at 10:59 am. Reply #

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