Tag Archives: YouGov

That Murdochian agenda, again

Last week the Sunday Times screamer was all about the usual YouGov poll. Let’s be a trifle less biased and less hysterical, and get it from Anthony Wells:

The full details of YouGov’s weekly Sunday Times poll are now up online here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 36%, LAB 37%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%.

That means two polls today, from YouGov and Survation, both show a reduced Labour lead of just one point. As ever when you get a couple of polls indicating a shift straight after an event it’s tempting to conclude the event has had a big impact. Be a bit cautious – the YouGov and Populus polls conducted Wednesday night and Thursday morning didn’t show a narrowing, it’s these two polls conducted from Thursday to Friday that show narrower leads. They aren’t necessarily contradictory (many people in those initial polls wouldn’t have seen the details of the budget or the media reaction yet), but it means the evidence isn’t all one way. Wait a bit to see if this pattern continues into the week.

Well, the general pattern of a reduced Labour lead did persist through the week, and was — but naturally — hailed by the Tory press. The gem — again, but naturally — was the Daily Mail‘s spin:

Labour MPs demanded that Ed Miliband beef up his economic policies last night after his ‘lame’ response to the Budget gave the Tories a poll bounce.

And in further dispiriting news for the Labour chief, a survey revealed that voters think he is the ‘weirdest’ party leader in Britain.

The YouGov poll for BuzzFeed showed that 41 per cent think Mr Miliband is either ‘very weird’ or ‘somewhat weird’, while 34 per cent thinks the same of Nick Clegg and only 27 per cent believe that David Cameron is weird.

If that’s a strange, even weird, bit of polling, stranger still is the quality that was generally omitted from the commentaries: Miliband was seen as the most honest of the three party leaders.

And so to this week’s Sunday Times.

The regular poll is still on the front page, just. It is no longer the main headline. In fact, you have to scroll six paragraph through a very different story (on Labour will take axe to student fees) to find:

Miliband will take comfort from a YouGov poll for The Sunday Times that suggests Labour has beaten off the Conservatives’ post-budget bounce by opening a seven-point lead. The party is backed by 40% of voters, against 33% for the Tories. But another poll, by Opinium, shows a lead of just one point.

Note how the Sunday Times rubbishes its own paid poll, by puffing the Opinium poll in the rival Observer.

And, note too, how ConHome’s Newslinks manages to ignore the hard-Tory-linew Sunday Times (sales: 850,000ish) poll in favour of the liberal-lefty Observer‘s (sales 220,000-dh) Opinium. I cannot think why.

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Filed under Britain, ConHome, Ed Miliband, Murdoch, Observer, polls, Sunday Times

How coincidental!

Opinion polls are slippery things. They have an amazing ability to mirror the inclinations of the commissioner. Thus the various pollsters are currently reporting either a massive lead for the “No” faction in the Scottish referendum — or, in a different version, an effective dead-heat.

Nobody will know which is the more indicative, at least until this time next year. By which point, of course, all previous samplings will be historical and forgotten by all except nerds.

So to this:

BREAKING: YouGov/Sun poll tonight – Tories and Labour neck and neck, tied on 36% each. UKIP 12%, LD 10%. Lab lost 14 point lead over a year.

Anthony Wells prudently subscribes;

I will obviously add all my usual caveats about any unusual poll – sure, it could be that the Tories have actually caught up with Labour after a couple of polls showing the lead down to three or four points… but just as likely that it’s just a bit of an outlier. It’s the trend that counts, so keep an eye over the next few days to see if there are more very small (or absent) Labour leads…

Even so, just before the Labour Conference,such a narrowing would seem a trifle … err … convenient.

Of all sources, Peter Oborne in (better believe it!) the Torygraph takes a more positive view of Miliband than most. His headline alone would put palpitations into the blue-rinses:

Ed Miliband is proving himself to be a brave and adroit leader

If Mr Miliband is remembered for nothing else, his stand on Syria changed the course of history

Oborne identifies two main “enemies” for Miliband:

His predicament can only be grasped once it is realised that he has two sets of very formidable enemies, linked but capable of operating independently. The first is the Murdoch newspaper empire, which will never forgive Mr Miliband’s pre-emptive strike in the phone-hacking affair.

Mr Miliband’s second set of enemies consists of Tony Blair and his followers. They did not much like his stance on phone-hacking, but their true concerns lie elsewhere. The Blairites cannot forgive Ed Miliband for defeating his brother David, Mr Blair’s chosen successor. Nor can they forgive his connection with Gordon Brown. Today’s Blairite attacks on Mr Miliband are thus a continuation of the bitter Blair/Brown feud.

Which deserves to be born in mind, when we reflect that both  the YouGov/Sun poll and the excitable Mr Newton Dunn are in the employ of Rupert Murdoch.

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Filed under Daily Telegraph, Ed Miliband, Labour Party, Murdoch, politics, polls, Tories., ukpollingreport