Saturday, 3 September 2011

Weeky opinion polls

Those on twitter may have noticed the publication of weekly opinion polls by, for example YouGov; the findings of which send political pundits into what almost amounts to overdrive.

Being a tad interested in the background, I emailed YouGov:
"May I inquire:
1. Who commissoned this survey?
2. For how long does the 'contract' run?
3. The number of people questioned on each occasion?
4. The question asked?
5. Is the same question asked on each occasion?"
The response received from Joe Twyman, Director of Political and Social Research:
"At YouGov we publish voting intention five times each week: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.
In specific answer to your questions:
1. The voting intention questions are commissioned as part of our contract with News International.
2. Details of the contract, including total value and duration, are confidential.
3. The sample size varies from survey to survey but each will be between 1,500 and 2,800 respondents.
4. The full question wording is attached.
Attachment: If there were a general election held tomorrow, which party would you vote for? 1 Conservative 2 Labour 3 Liberal Democrat 4 Scottish National Party (SNP)/ Plaid Cymru 5 Some other party 6 Would not vote 7 Don’t know
(For those who say some other party) 
And which of these parties would you vote for? 1 Green 2 United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) 3 British National Party (BNP) 4 Respect 5 Some other party 6 Don't know
5. Voting intention is always asked first in each survey and the question wording remains exactly the same for each survey. Subsequent questions then vary from survey to survey."
 For those like me who were intrigued - now we know.


Anonymous said...

As one of their "surveyees" I can tell you that they never, ever, give The English Democrats as a choice for "who would you vote for", no matter how many times you tick "other party".
I also have a lot of fun with their surveys.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Anon: That had not escaped my notice either. What do opinion polls do but show a result the question suggests?