• Lib Dems spin that Oakeshott polling disadvantages party
  • ‘Normal’ ICM technique has Clegg drawing level with Labour
  • Danny Alexander tweets the good news …
  • … before realising poll still shows him losing to SNP by 11%

Danny Alexander

With Lib Dems hitting the airwaves to spin on the departure of Lord Oakeshott, elections guru Mark Pack employed his statistical nouse to remove the sting from some of the peer’s poisonous private polling.

The former Lib Dem Voice editor seized on the fact that the methodology employed for Oakeshott’s surveys of Lib Dem constituencies derogated from that usually employed by ICM. He quotes from the full data released by the polling firm:

“Usually, ICM would add 50% of those who refuse to answer the vote intention question or say they don’t know to the party they voted for in 2010. We did not do so on these polls.”

According to Pack this makes a big difference in Cambridge, Redcar and Clegg’s seat of Sheffield Hallam.

“No reason is given for doing this, however, and this adjustment usually benefits the Liberal Democrats … the methodology details aren’t just technical curiosities but have a major impact on what picture the polls show overall. Clegg not set to lose after all wouldn’t have made for such a great headline.”

Danny Alexander re-tweets the good news … but then deleted it.

The fact that the poll shows him losing to the SNP by 11 points — even with the ‘normal’ ICM weightings applied — may have something to do with it.

MORE: Here’s our working, based on table 3 in the ICM data. Survation come up with a different results after applying their interpretation of ‘normal’ weighting — but still a 10 point lead for the SNP.


  1. Richard Harris says:

    “The (Not So) Strange Death of Liberal England”
    ~ Revised edition 2014.

    “Laugh? I couldn’t fekin stop! Worra romp!” Baroness Shirley Williams (The Guardian)

  2. Bye, Danny. Maybe Malcolmm Rifkind can recommend you for his old seat in Buckinghamshire.

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