Peter Hoskin

On August opinion polls...

On August opinion polls...
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Do check out Mike Smithson's latest post over at Political Betting, in which he relays an email he received from Nick Sparrow of ICM.  Sparrow highlights the close fit between August ICM polls in the years before elections and the actual election results themselves:

"August 1996 poll suggested that Labour were ahead by 12%.

The result - Labour won by 13%

August 2000 poll suggested that Labour were ahead by 10%

The result - Labour won by 9%

August 2004 poll suggested that Labour were ahead by 3%

The result - Labour won by 3%

August 2009 poll suggests that the Tories are ahead by 16%

The result - ?????????"

Of course, this isn't watertight: as Smithson points out, events could always intervene between now and the next election.  But it does give this month's polls a certain extra piquancy.