With George Osborne’s sidekick deleting a tweet after realising it referenced a poll showing he stood to lose his seat in 2015 yesterday, Danny Alexander’s office had already released a statement trashing ICM and claiming that a “projection” in his local paper is more reliable:
“This deeply flawed poll is in stark contrast to the projection published last week in the Inverness Courier. That projection, which took into account the recent election results, showed Danny holding the seat ahead of Labour with the SNP in third place.”
“The Courier knows the constituency intimately and is better placed to assess the political mood than a remote polling company using a flawed methodology.”
His office manager even tweeted an image from the front of the Inverness Courier:
— Graeme Littlejohn (@littlegrumpyG) May 28, 2014
Having done a little local digging, however, Scrapbook can confirm that this isn’t a poll at all — nor was it presented as such. The ‘2015’ figures are generated by applying the 2009-1014 swing in the European elections for the whole Highlands region to the 2010 result from Beaker’s constituency.
Whatever the legitimate debate around methodology, even Lib Dem-endorsed ‘adjustments’ to the poll funded by Lord Oakeshott fail to put Alexander in the clear — currently suggesting a 10-11% loss to the SNP.
It’s getting pretty desperate to set your local paper up against a 25 year-old research company and a member of the British Polling Council.