Wednesday, May 31, 2017

YouGov projection model points to better SNP result than regular polls

YouGov seats projection :

Conservatives 310
Labour 257
SNP 50
Liberal Democrats 10
Plaid Cymru 3
Greens 1
"Others" 1
Northern Ireland Parties 18

Hung Parliament : Conservatives short by 16, Labour short by 69

I was going to do my customary 'shock, horror' headline, but my heart wasn't in it this time, because to be honest I just don't believe this projection - it doesn't pass the 'smell test' at all.  If anything, YouGov have until now been more pessimistic about the SNP's prospects than other firms, so it's hard to understand why they're suddenly estimating an outcome that would be very nearly as good for the SNP as the 2015 result.  And the explanation of the model used for the projection has so far been as clear as mud - the Times article refers twice to a YouGov "poll", and yet Sam Coates (who wrote the article) has loudly insisted on Twitter that it isn't a poll at all.  He also added that it's based on a 7000-strong sample interviewed over seven days, which makes it sound very much like a poll, or some sort of poll aggregate.  Apparently a more detailed explanation will shortly appear on the YouGov website, so hopefully it will make more sense then - although I suspect I'll still disbelieve the numbers even after I know more.

There has been some debate over whether the projected result would be enough to dislodge the Tories from government.  The answer is that it almost would be - but not quite.  A potential "progressive alliance" of Labour, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, Greens and the SDLP would probably have either 313 or 314 seats - the uncertainty is because the SDLP's result has not been estimated.  That would be sufficient to slightly outnumber the Tories on their own, but not to outnumber the Tories and Northern Ireland unionist parties in combination.  The DUP would always favour a Tory government over one led by Jeremy Corbyn, so in practice the Tory-led forces would have the edge, and could only be dislodged if the Lib Dems offered their full allegiance to an unstable-looking Corbyn-led alliance.  That seems highly unlikely, especially given that individual Blairites within the Labour ranks would probably be trying to sabotage any arrangement.

One thing's for sure, though - Theresa May's own position as Prime Minister would look utterly untenable.


  1. This poll would be reasonable if they used overpolling to get enough in each district...especially if they got a clean first two polls. Overpolling can be confused and mean different things. I mean if you had the callers etc continue in certain under responding districts or sub-groups.still, I am a bit leery...well a lot. Really never understand why they just don't poll each the 70's and 80's we used to poll all 40 state Senate seat districts for statewide PRIMARY races. Over polling took 15 minutes first night, 20 the second, 25 to 43 the third.james, I want to thank you again for your work.

  2. My first thought when this 'poll' was made public was that it felt and smelled very much like the YouGov poll in the week before the referendum in 2014 that showed a slight majority in favour of independence.
    It still feels and smells just like that one did and it's happened in a similar context with a run of polls showing Labour gaining back some ground from the tories.

  3. So we are going to get pounded by the Brit Nat Press and Media that it is going to be a close election narrative and they will move onto a daily dose of Coalition of Chaos subliminals and Tory Propaganda. We have been here before in 2015.

    It doesn't look like the Fib Dooms have recovered any ground and Corbyn would need that if the Tories are to be stopped from forming a coalition with the Orange Knuckle draggers.

  4. I personally doubt that the voters declining support for Theresa May has run it's course. It might get a tad harder, but 'hung Parliament' territory, here we come!

  5. I hope so..I win £60 if it is!

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