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Cameron's "Female Touch" A Myth
27 November 2006
The idea that Cameron has a "female touch" that Brown is lacking is a myth according to new polling evidence released today.
Political Polling In Britain - The History
15 December 2000
Dr Henry Durant, the man who introduced opinion polling to Britain, once described it as "the stupidest of professions" - for who else is stupid enough to publish a prediction on Thursday morning that may be proved wrong on Thursday evening?
Reporting the Polls - a Lot of Hot Ayr
10 March 2000
"POLL SHOCK: VOTERS TO GIVE DEWAR A BLOODY NOSE. LABOUR FACE AYR CRASH - EXCLUSIVE BY RON MACKENNA" screams the front page of yesterday's Daily Record, Scotland's highest circulation daily newspaper. It certainly shocked me - but it was the accuracy of the reporting, not the data in the poll (a constituency poll by Scottish Opinion Limited ahead of next week's Ayr by-election) that was disturbing.
The Election’s Not Over Yet
30 January 2010
Sir Robert Worcester examines why it's far too early to call the result of the election and the different issues that will be key to the result.
The Polls In 2000
5 January 2001
An editorial in the Daily Telegraph last month (5 December) suggested that MORI's polls in The Times systematically under-represent Conservative strength, and further that this is because they are conducted face-to-face rather than by telephone. The article cited several arguments in support of its case which were based on factual errors. We wrote to the paper correcting these errors, but it failed to publish our letter. It is not true as they alleged that face-to-face polls tend to find lower Conservative support than telephone polls. Nor is it true that MORI's polls find systematically lower Conservative support than those of the other polling companies. But since some of these misconceptions seem to be widespread, and the Telegraph was only echoing the wishful thinking which seems to be still entrenched in some corners of Conservative Central Office, it is perhaps time for a systematic review of the evidence, taking the whole of the year 2000 as our basis.
Three Frequently Asked Questions
3 November 2000
There are a number of questions about the polls that we get asked time and time again. Over the next few months, as we run up to the general election that will probably be held next year, I am going to try to answer some of them here. Let us begin with some questions about sampling:
Volatility And Public Opinion
20 August 2006
Some commentators have noted in recent months that Ipsos MORI's voting intention figures are "more volatile" than those of the other companies, which in one sense is true; but they have also assumed that this implies they are less accurate, which is not necessarily the case, and some of them have clearly not understood why our figures sometimes move more dramatically than those in other polls.
What Shy Tories?
6 July 2001
A brief word on the importance of the low turnout and its effect on the polls. MORI's final poll projection for The Times was Conservative 30%, Labour 45%, Liberal Democrat 18%; the "poll of polls" (average of all the companies' polls conducted during the final week) was Conservative 31%, Labour 45% and Liberal Democrats 18%. Both close to the final result (32.7%:42.0%:18.8%), and within the standard 3% margin of error for all parties - though, naturally, we would like it to be even closer.
Worcester's Weblog - Too early to call?
29 January 2010
Sir Robert Worcester calls on pundits not to jump the gun and call the election too early. In this piece he explains the numerous issues and events that could still have a dramatic effect on who the country chooses as its next government.