Hearing Results Of The Largest Lib Dem Leadership Phone Poll Yet Conducted;
2000 Lib Dem members were contacted in the 6 day period ending Feb 19th and asked the question "Who have you voted for - first and second preferences?"
These figures were then adjusted for the natural bias involved with a partisan canvasser (we do not know of the exact reduction factor).
Special Bets have heard that Menzies Campbell is "marginally" ahead of Chris Huhne with Simon Hughes in 3rd place but "not as far behind as some of the more dire predictions for Simon".
The key piece of information is that among Simon Hughes supporters, their 2nd preferences are very encouraging for Ming - with "Over 60%" expressing Ming as their 2nd preference choice.
If this information is reasonably accurate (and we believe it is) a scenario might be;
Ming 36% / Chris 35% / Simon 29%
Hughes 2nd Prefs are allocated
RESULT = Ming Win 53.4%
or, if Simon's 1st preference share is lower, and more like "You Gov Poll 2"
Ming 38.7% / Chris 38.3% / Simon 23 %
Hughes 2nd prefs are allocated
RESULT = Ming Win 52.5%
Given that the only poll we've seen published was (for YouGov client and Huhne supporter John Stevens) of voting intentions for the period February 7-9, 2006 and a sample size 401 we think this large telephone canvass poll can not be ignored.
About Yougov Poll 2;
In a departure from normal polling technique the YouGov poll Feb 7-9th asked the key question "how are you intending to cast your first preference vote?" after a full 3 pages of questions about the candidates - which is know to effect results. The question format was selected by the Huhne supporter John Stevens.
Even YouGov's Anthony Wells said himself about the poll that "On general election voting intention questions, it’s normal to have them as the first question (or sometimes the second question after how likely people are to vote) just in case other questions skew the result. Personally, I’d always put it first in polls like this as well..."
We would lay Huhne here at the generous odds available of 1.8. Ming and Huhne's odds should be much closer in our view with Ming slightly ahead.
Interestingly, we've noticed actions in the market that suggest Chris Huhne's supporters are trying to hold his price down to keep him the "bookie's favourite" for publicity reasons. Here's Guido Fawkes with a nice illustration of what we're on about. Enjoy the nice prices provided by those wealthy backers - and don't be put off by the market not moving - just enjoy the value -they can afford it!
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