Monday, May 14, 2007

Dodgy numbers

The front page of the Observer proudly blazoned "Poll surge as Brown lays out new vision." I'll admit that my heart sank rather: pinning your hopes on the unpopularity of Gordon Brown leaves you sensitive to signs that the electorate may disagree. Reading the story, however, it became clear that the poll referred to was a Sunday Times YouGov poll. This rather confused me, as I'd bough the Sunday Times, and remembered that they had interpreted the poll in a rather different way.
The figures are that the Labour Party has recovered slightly, to sit at 34% to the Tories 38%. So, obviously an Observer Brown surge? Well, no. For the same poll asks for intentions for a Brown led Labour Party. The numbers? 32% to the Tories 42%. The Sunday Times's take on this: Poll is grim reading for Brown. Phew eh? For a moment I thought that the Observer had some evidence that the people like Brown - now it turns out that they are merely ignoring the evidence that people don't.

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