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Before "Essex Man"
16 March 2001
As we wait to discover whether the election will indeed be held on the apparently pre-ordained date of 3 May, or whether the ravages of Foot and Mouth disease will eventually force a postponement, a bit of electoral trivia in answer to a question that I was asked last week. Which is the most typical constituency in the country?
Decision day looms
23 March 2001
Should he or shouldn't he? Tony Blair still seems determined to call the election for 3 May, though he has yet to make any announcement; the public seem decidedly less enthusiastic. Nevertheless, MORI's poll for the Mail on Sunday [FOOT AND MOUTH POLL] suggested that few of those opposed to holding the election on 3 May feel that if the government were to do so it would make them less likely to vote Labour.
Earthquake In The Polls
2 June 2001
Wow! Mild earthquake in the election polls. ICM has now brought this election to life in a poll for Channel 4, which I missed last night on the TV, being out to dinner with my family.
Effect Of Candidate Ethnicity In The British General Elections Of 1997 And 2001
10 April 2002
Statistical analysis of constituency results in the last two general elections strongly suggests that ethnic minority (Black or Asian) candidates secure a smaller share of the vote for their parties than do white candidates. While it is not possible to prove from the evidence why this is the case, the obvious presumption must be that it is caused by racist voters being deterred from voting for an ethnic minority candidate. The effect was strongest in the case of Labour candidates, depressing their vote share by more than three-and-a-half percentage points, but was also present for Liberal Democrats; however, there was no statistically significant loss of votes found in the case of Conservative ethnic minority candidates.
Election 2001 Commentary: How Shy Are The Tories (And Labour And The Lib Dems?)
11 May 2001
At the 1997 election, one of the most powerful forces behind Tony Blair's victory was "word of mouth" among ordinary voters. MORI tested the extent to which the general public were spreading the message of New Labour, and of the other main parties, as part of an adaptation of the Ipsos MORI Excellence Model (MEM), originally designed to enable MORI's corporate clients to measure their relationships with their key stakeholders. We found that 10% of the adult population, more than four million people, said that they supported the Labour party so much that they would encourage others to vote for it without being asked; a further 21% would encourage others to vote Labour if asked for their opinion.
Electorate Under The Microscope
20 April 2001
As the pace of the election build-up has temporarily slowed, let us take the chance to look over the details of the battlefield - that is, the minds of the British electorate.
Gallup Says Labour By 30!
22 May 2001
Since the beginning of the election the British Election Study Gallup poll has been asking c. 150 people each day a number of questions relating to the election, including how people intended to vote, their certainty of voting, interest in the election, issues of importance, liking and disliking of political leaders, etc. Up until Friday, I had not read about it nor had been aware of its design.
General Election 2001
9 May 2001
Opinion polls measure the electorate's intentions in votes, not in seats. We can — if nothing goes wrong — measure voting intention percentages directly, and would hope to be accurate within our margins of error. But projecting the number of seats that a given share of the votes would give, although it produces a better headline, involves much greater uncertainties, and we rarely have the information we need to produce such figures with anything approaching precision.
General Election 2001
8 May 2001
The election begins with the most recently published polls* by all the companies showing Labour's lead over the Tories slightly lower than was the case before the election was called in 1997:
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