Pollwatch Day 19 #GE2010 – Lib Dem surge still strong (except for News of the World)

by Stephen Tall on April 24, 2010

Four polls for the Sunday papers have already been published – they are as follows:

    ComRes for Sunday Mirror / Independent on Sunday … CON 34%(-1), LAB 28%(+3), LIB DEM 29%(+2)
    ICM in the Sunday Telegraph … CON 35%(+2), LAB 26%(-2), LIB DEM 31%(+1)
    Ipsos MORI in the News of the World … CON 36%(+4), LAB 30%(-2), LIB DEM 23%(-9)
    YouGov in the Sunday Times … CON 35%(+1), LAB 27%(-2), LIB DEM 29%(nc)

There is also a OnePoll for the People showing the Tories and Lib Dems tied on 32%, with Labour way back in 23%; however, OnePoll, it should be noted, are a new company which do not comply with industry-standard transparency. So – even though it’s a good poll for the Lib Dems – it’s best treated sceptically.

Three of the polls show a similar story: the Tories edging up into the mid-30%s, the Lib Dems hovering around 30%, with Labour in the mid-to-high 20%s. There is one outlier, Ipsos MORI’s poll, which shows Lib Dem support collapsing, and which the News of the World has reported in customary understated fashion as Lib Dem bubble bursts.

Such is the suspicion of Murdoch’s newspapers now, this poll is being dismissed by many as evidence of clear bias. That’s understandable, but I doubt it. Ipsos MORI’s methodology has a habit of producing big and often inexplicable swings. And as Anthony Wells’ UK Polling Report blog notes:

Ben Page of MORI has has just been on Sky – and hats off to him for giving a responsible and measured account of the poll rather than claiming it shows something spectacular. Ben said they’d checked their figures very carefully, scratched their heads, but they have to publish them… but he did re-iterated that one in twenty polls are rogues. That’s about as close as pollsters come to warning that one of their own polls they’ve just released might be a rogue!

Naturally Lib Dem fingers will remain firmly crossed that this is indeed the case!