Sunday, October 13, 2013

Something else you can do to help

I gave a mention the other day to one fundraising campaign that only has a short time left to run, so I might as well also give a plug to another one that has only just begun.  Rough Justice Films, creators of the brilliant Fear Factor and Top 10 Unionist Myths Debunked (which went viral after the No campaign stupidly tried to get it banned), are seeking £20,000.  With that money, they plan to -

1) Make a feature-length documentary to be released next summer.

2) Make a fortnightly short film giving a platform for advocates of independence.

3) Cover milestones in the referendum campaign that the mainstream media ignore.

4) Create a set of short viral videos aimed at winning over undecided Scots.

I don't know about you, but that sounds to me like pretty good bang for the buck.  If you fancy donating, or reading more about the fundraising drive, click HERE.

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Alasdair Stirling pointed out to me yesterday that TNS-BMRB had made yet another blunder in their latest poll, getting the weightings for 2011 Conservative and Liberal Democrat voters the wrong way round.  To be fair, John Curtice called them out on that mistake in his blogpost on the poll.  He also made this intriguing comment, which gives the lie to TNS' claim that they are coming into line with the practice of other pollsters -

"...they have adopted a somewhat different approach. One of the features of virtually any poll is that fewer people say they did not vote at the last election than actually did so according to the official result. In part this will be because the official figures exaggerate somewhat the level of abstention (some people will have died, others will be registered twice, etc.), in part because people who do not vote are reluctant to talk to pollsters, and in part because people may be reluctant to admit they did not vote. Given this complex of possible reasons – and given the greater likelihood that those who say they did not vote last time will not do so next time either – pollsters who weight by past vote typically do not attempt to weight their reported levels of abstention so that it matches the official outcome of the last election.

However, TNS BMRB have weighted their poll such that between them, the combined total of people who say they did not vote in 2011 or cannot remember what they did in 2011 matches the near 50% official abstention rate in that year. Whether those who said they cannot remember what they did in 2011 should be treated in this way is certainly debatable."

Which leads me to wonder whether TNS-BMRB have deliberately chosen such an idiosyncratic weighting method so that they can defiantly say to their critics from last month - "You see? Weighting by past vote recall only makes a very small difference to the outcome." It seems likely that if they had truly come into line with the methodology of a pollster such as Panelbase or ICM, the narrowing of the gap would have been at least slightly greater.

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