Lies, damned lies and polls

Having pointed out in my last post, the misfortunate of electing a UKIP MEP in 2014 with 140k votes, while there were 450k votes or more that clearly wouldn't have wanted this stacked up in useless piles, the question is whether anything can be done about this.

Now I spent most of my political life as a member of firstly the Liberal Democrats and then the Greens, both proponents of PR and both parties who suffer under First Past the Post.  So I am always wary of cries from major parties to vote for them for fear of letting the 'other' in.  And this is a PR election, just not a very good form of PR that doesn't let people express a second choice.  So if we are serious about blocking Brexit, we need to act.

Clearly in the Remain camp are the SNP, LibDems, Greens and CUK.  Labour appear ambivalent - foolishly so in my view, as the flight from Labour in the English local elections testifies.  And we have to count Tories as Brexiteers, prisoners of the ERG despite wiser counsel from such as Ken Clarke along side UKIP and Brexit, Farage's latest personal vehicle.

So, harkening back to #ToryFreeScotland, many people want a #BrexitFreeScotland.

But we are at risk of simply repeating 2014 again when despite there being 450k votes available to defeat UKIP, their 140k was sufficient to elect Coburn.

What could have been different?  Well, this is one simulation.  Click on the image title to take you to the website, then click on Scotland.  Select 2014 in the drop down box at the top and then play with the sliders to see what could have happened if some people had changed their vote.

But that is 5 years ago and much has changed.  Polls are odd things and every one has a margin of error.  The big national polls typically sample 100-200 people in Scotland which isn't enough to get a statistically robust sample.  I look for polls with sample sizes of over 1000 for Scotland.

Here is the Survation Poll  (Fieldwork 18 - 24 April 2019, sample 1018 in Scotland) translated into seats:

SNP Lab Con UKIP Green LibDem Brexit CUK
Stage 1 39.0 20.0 16.0 2.0 3.0 6.0 10.0 4.0
Stage 2 19.5 20.0 16.0 2.0 3.0 6.0 10.0 4.0
Stage 3 19.5 10.0 16.0 2.0 3.0 6.0 10.0 4.0
Stage 4 19.5 10.0 8.0 2.0 3.0 6.0 10.0 4.0
Stage 5 13.0 10.0 8.0 2.0 3.0 6.0 10.0 4.0
Stage 6  9.8 10.0 8.0 2.0 3.0 6.0 10.0 4.0

By Unknown - Gooreen collection, Public Domain,
This poll puts Labour and Brexit neck and neck for the 6th seat with the SNP a nose behind.  Within the margin of error of polls, its hard to predict.

You can select this Poll on the voter switch simulation map mentioned above and try out switch strategies for yourself.  

What's certain is the CUK, Greens and LibDems are not part of the mix and that's 13% of votes that could be pivotal in determining whether Farage and Co get to smile on 23rd May.    Even tenth of those votes switching could make the difference but within the accuracy of polls, I'd not like to call it that finely.  

It's up to Liberal Democrat, Greens and CUK voters whether they want to switch and where.   It may be that Independence pushes most Greens to SNP (and the SNP seem to be casting their net that way with recent changes in approach to climate change).

But assuming that even UKIP supporter realise that Brexit is now the main de facto Brexit Party, I'd not like to rely on luck.

So its with some sadness, that I won't be voting LibDem or Green at this election (sorry, Sheila).  I certainly think CUK should chuck it in at this point.  

I'll vote SNP.  

If you can't bring yourself to do that, perhaps due to a strong unionist bent, then I'd suggest LibDem.  CUK are untested but the profile of voters is 'LibDemmy'.  

And of course LibDems might be an acceptable home for Labour and Tory Remain.  

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