Archive for the ‘Guardian’ Tag

Joey Lucas, Iraq, Bush’s shoes? Pollsters are as scientific as me…

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the Telegraph disagree with my previous post.

In all honesty, it’s unlikely that anyone from the Telegraph (or anyone who reads the Telegraph) has read my post – so it’s less me they’re disagreeing with, and more the Guardian’s poll.

But yesterday – just four days after the Guardian had the Tories on 38 and Labour on 33 – the Telegraph revealed (on its front page, incidentally) that the Conservatives are now on 42, and Labour on 35. Brown’s bounce (get excited kids, it’s alliteration), the Telegraph tells us, is coming to an end. Oh how very Alan Partridge.

If you don't know who Joey Lucas you should. Go away and watch the West Wing.

If you don't know who Joey Lucas is you should. Go away and watch the West Wing.

Now I’m no Joey Lucas, (and perhaps it is because of this that I think the following) but it seems to me like there’s something fishy about all this polling business. In just four days a number of things have apparently happened: Cameron is, apparently, the King of the Castle once more, Labour have gained two points, and the poor old Lib Dems are dying.

This would be perfectly acceptable if something dramatic had happened in politics in the last four days – something with an especially dramatic effect on the Lib Dems and Tories, for instance. Let’s have a quick look at what’s happened this week shall we:

Someone threw some shoes at Bush (yey – see below!) and was then allegedly beaten (boo!).

95,000 pensioners were overpaid (see further below).

Rhys Jones killer got life.

The closure of Woolworths stores was announced (boo!).

Brown announced his Iraq pull-out (yey!).

Brown warns about volatile fuel prices, and is then labelled “confused”.

Now, with the exception of the Iraq pull-out story, none of these “top stories” appear to have huge political ramifications. To add weight to this flimsy conclusion of mine I asked my brother whether anything in the news this week has made him feel particularly lovingly about the Tories or negatively about the Lib Dems. He replied with: “No, I don’t read newspapers.” Helpful.

Regardless, I think it’s fair to conclude that polls, be it the Guardian/ICM poll, or the Daily Telegraph/You Gov poll are fishy. And that’s before we even consider the fact that the polls commissioned by each paper rather conveniently, I must say, returned results perfectly in-tune with their readership’s political allegiances.

I reckon that polls are about as accurate and scientific as my ruler-manoeuvrings of the previous post. Then again, my ruler-manoeuvring was quite fun. Maybe I should become a Joey Lucas after all.

And just for kicks. Ha, kicks – could be tenuously linked to shoes:

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Brown’s the king of the castle: or he will be on Christmas Day.

David Cameron’s position as King of the Castle, or at least the polls, looks to be in jeopardy. And as the Conservative’s lead becomes smaller, and smaller, and smaller – I feel that I am in a position to make a prediction of when it might cease to exist at all: Christmas day.

My exciting prediction comes from playing with the Guardian’s ‘interactive poll data’, which documents the Guardian/ICM poll results since June 05. If you hold a ruler up to your computer screen, the pretty blue and red lines look set to collide on Christmas day. Or at least the end of December. How very scientific.

Or Christmas Day roundabout...

Or Christmas Day roundabout...

Anyway, there has been much internet-based debate as to why Brown is suddenly much more popular than he was (more fiddling with the Guardian’s grid-thingy) in June this summer, and most of it centres around heroic efforts at saving the world. Er, banks. I mean world banks…

I have a different opinion. Brown’s Government is flipping popular right now because they’re so bad they’re good. Accidentally giving 5% of the civil service over £200 (each, a year) in pension overpayments must have guaranteed them a few votes. And as I’m in the mood for predicting, I reckon Labour have just secured themselves 95,000.

This is what the BBC reckon people who are £200 a year better off look like.

This is what the BBC reckon people who are £200 a year better off look like.

Tories haven’t got a chance as long as Labour keep cocking up this well.

Toasty Two Hats: Guardian and BBC’s coverage of VP debate.

I assume I’m not the only person who feels like they’re sucking on a lemon when they hear Palin speak. I’ve heard the car-crash analogy before too, but I have issues with this because at least – if unfortunate enough to be watching a car crash – it has a finite end: the actual crash. Watching Palin is only like watching a car crash if, somehow, the cars transcend space-time and continually crash into each other, indefinitely.

Now I’m no big fan of sucking lemons; indeed there were plenty of other things I would rather have been doing last Friday morning, such as sleeping. So when the Palin/Biden debate was aired at the dreadfully convenient time of 2am (and yes, I do think Americans should get over a 5pm broadcast), I didn’t watch it.

Instead, I followed Oliver Burkeman’s excellent liveblogging of the debate on the Guardian website. This was a great improvement on watching the actual event as firstly, it involved absolutely no lemons at all (quite a feat with Palin involved), secondly, it told me when to drink (I’m sure you can guess, but it started to get messy after a few of Palin’s “maverick”s and “Joe Sixpack”s – I still am unsure as to what the latter even means), and thirdly, was actually really good coverage.

For some reason that I can’t put my finger on, I kept thinking it was written by a woman, but this is by the bye. Hats off to Burkeman for his heroic rescue of a potentially very bitter early morning listening to Palin answering questions by not answering questions.

Also, another hats off to the BBC website’s coverage of the very same event (I am apparently wearing two hats… toasty). Although I was a bit hesitant to put quite as much weight on their “experts” as they did, (Robert Shrum, Huffington Post; Michelle Malkin, etc etc), a definite highlight was the BBC’s “Fact Checker” – something I always mean to do, but never do do, which the BBC did for me and for which I am very grateful. Ch-ch-check it out.