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.


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).

One response to “Conservatives overtake SNP in Scottish polling (aka listen to Anthony Wells)”

  1. Good point about low samples. You Gov seem to have done 3 polls in last week or so with samples of 158/162/171 in Scotland.
    Results in Scotland:
    Con Ratings : 25/24/21
    Lab 37/32/34
    LibDem 6/11/9
    UKIP 4/2/9
    SNP 24/27/23
    So Cons are doing surprisingy well in Scotland.   LibDem and UKIP vary hugely which highlights point about low samples – but on c 160 sample it is peculiar to geb Dem variation of 6% to 11%

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