A Guide Through the Election Nonsense

As Brown goes to the Palace, the opinion polls remain as helpful as ever. Last night one for ICM suggested a hung parliament, while another for YouGov suggested a comfortable Tory victory. As you are about to be drowned by a wave of commentary, here is a checklist of notions you can dismiss as guff.

Our latest poll shows that…

Opinion polls are done on the cheap by business research companies who make their money selling their work on consumer preferences to gullible marketing managers. Their political polls are loss leaders whose main purpose is to generate publicity for the brand. Often newspapers receive them free of charge.

They are not proper random samples, and historically have always had a bias towards Labour. Mike Smithson, of politicalbetting.com has a golden rule that “whenever polls have been tested against real election results it’s been the survey with Labour in the least favourable position that has been the most accurate”.

In other words, Labour supporters should be more worried than they are about their low poll showing. Their party’s real performance could well be worse.

Carry on Reading

11 thoughts on “A Guide Through the Election Nonsense

  1. 90 minutes is too long for each debate; I’d say the hour like the chancellor’s one 3 times is enough.
    Here’s something I find interesting, Today’s Evan Davis was clear he didn’t want to know which way Rory Bremner will vote (didn’t you poke Rory Bremner in the face once, Nick) but only who he’d like in office for professional reasons.
    Hoi polloi’s asked all the time; why should someone who doesn’t even work for the BBC be excluded? What difference would it make?

  2. Gordon Brown should be enough to make every labour supporter vote conservative.
    If he remains in office, Ed Balls is straight in as chancellor. It’ll be bye, Darling – hello immovable wierdo for five years and an end to fluffy coup attempts. None of the new backbenchers are going to try and move against the Brown gang when the country have said stay, and those still lucky enough to be hanging around from the current front bench will be so weak against the clan they’ll be completely servile.

    I don’t want to do it myself but a vote going anywhere else will help to keep that ( I could use language that would stun Roy “Chubby” Brown, not here, only in the backyard) in his job.
    It wasn’t the Caine swot done it, only a dread of Brown doing his utmost again.

    I will say Cameron gets a good majority. Stuff the polls.

  3. He looked like Gordon Brown, didn’t he, Wurzel Gummidge, standing in that field, yesterday.

    I’m stuck between thinking the cover for Labour’s manifesto is some sort of Moaist homage, or the illustration of a Cold War warning for a nuclear explosion. Whatever it is, it is crap.
    The Conservative’s one just looks like a hardback with the dust jacket missing you’d buy off the internet.
    Personally, I’m glad I don’t have to look inside any of them, like millions of other people round the country. However, there are those who have to.
    Unlucky, Nick Cohen!

  4. When I caught a bit of the interview, I saw ol’ Windsor face Paxman was coughing and choking on something. Perhaps Nick Clegg had slipped him a feather from the Lib Dem’s logo, I thought…
    With the two famous wives out and about, and the natural attention being put on the two big parties, I think it’s good that the reverse is helping Clegg and if he does well on the telly debates, he could become the lodestone yet.

  5. David Cameron might want to be seen rising above Gordon Brown’s tactics, but he could soon start losing points if the little lies he keeps telling build up. His police Lexus tale has been proved untrue on channel 4 news; and his recent visit to the bread factory seems to have included a porky as well.
    Michael Crick has a different story to Cameron’s bread machine tale. Dough!

    If he gets a chance at either of the next debates, Nick Clegg should say something like:
    “David, what with you rolling in all this dough, I’d have thought your choice of car would be a Rolls Royce Phantom rather than a phantom Lexus.”

    Goldman Sachs, suspected fraud. Will this blow away a lot of the talk that it was all so complex people didn’t understand what they were doing?

  6. The Tories admit it is going to be a hard fought election. But did you think they’d go as far as employing the mother of all smokescreens in the lead-up to their assault on the seat of power?
    Take another look at the Conservative party’s logo, and that dust cloud on the news.
    Yup – that’s where it’s really all coming from.

  7. If Gordon Brown is standing behind the middle podium on Thursday, it will be bad news for Cameron. Not that the gorilla is any good but it’s that Cameron hates being near him. If Dave’s lucky enough, this time, to have Clegg in the middle, you’ll see Cameron do a lot better, he’ll show up Brown.
    Come the third and final debate, it’ll be like the wild west without any guns and whores. Cam and Clegg? New best mates, I bet. But I wouldn’t take in a god dam thing I say.


    “It’s a matter of substance, really”
    “Substance will come through”
    “There has to be substance in the argument”
    “Look, style or substance, I know which one I choose”
    “I know what I believe, and I bring substance to the issues”
    Ad nauseam…

  9. Ross why so abusive about Brown.
    Talk about kicking a man while he’s down.
    Your man, and Cohen’s man will get in but don’t give me the bullshit about ex Labour voter.
    You and Cohen have always been Thatcherites, hence Cohens ramblings in Standpoint.
    You are both high earners, send your kids to private schools and have BUPA.
    Why would you want state education, the NHS, the welfare state and high taxation.
    I have no problems with that but don’t give me this non aligned left nonsense.
    Honesty boys.

  10. TV Burp’s POETRY CORNER…

    “Ross why so abusive about Brown.
    Talk about kicking a man while he’s down.”

    Av you been reading the awl’ cap and sawser?

  11. I think there are several things wrong with the above reply to you, Nick Who?.

    They have not used their real name, like you, Who?
    And it would have been far better to write this:
    Writing from London’s poetry corner…
    The cockney codswallop at the end is just awful. Geoffrey Chaucer is too good a poet to be mixed up in petty sniping.
    Nick Who? I think the reader who done that is only worth ignoring. Don’t let them get you down.

    I might add that I’m not a high earner; in fact, I am now into my 14 month of unemployment. I have no children, and I still use the NHS even though I was in serious danger after a further appointment wasn’t followed up by the hospital, when it should have been. I could very well not be writing this for you, had my doctor not corrected the blunder.
    Chin up!

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