Political

Conservatives overtake SNP in Scottish polling (aka listen to Anthony Wells)

There it is, in black and white: Conservatives on 25% and SNP on 24% amongst Scottish voters in YouGov’s poll from last week.

But…

It’s a graphic illustration of the point Anthony Wells makes regularly, powerfully (but alas, that not everyone pays attention to): picking out one sub-group from withing a national voting intention poll often produces ludicrous results because the sample size is so tiny. Especially if you pluck the figures out from one poll, marvel at them in isolation and tweet excitably whilst ignoring the wider picture from other polls.

Why do I mention this now? Aside from the nice Scottish example, because a wayward tiny sample finding about levels of support amongst 18-24 year olds got all sorts of people excited. Previous and subsequent findings that were very different went uncommented instead (e.g. this YouGov poll showing Labour massively ahead amongst 18-24 year olds didn’t get the tweets that the one showing the Tories ahead did).

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