Congratulations to YouGov and to Stephan Shakespeare’s PoliticsHome website for calling the London Mayoral election most accurately and first.
PoliticsHome is a topical political news aggregator with Andrew Rawnsley as its chief editorial guide. And it has some interesting polling panels to back up the comprehensive diet of moving political information and comment.
Their panel of 100 ‘political opinion formers’ called it for Boris before the polls closed:
Our unique group of political experts and insiders, a panel which includes senior Ministers and Opposition frontbenchers, correctly forecast the outcome of the battle for London. While others hesitated to call the contest until the polls were closed, on the morning of the vote in the capital we were able to publish a strong forecast from the politically balanced panel that Boris Johnson would be the victor in London. We have always hoped that the panel would put their judgement and expertise before their personal partisan preferences. This they did. Majorities of both the right-leaning and left-leaning members of the panel forecast that the Tory contender would take control over City Hall. Better than that, though the margin fluctuated with the twists and turns of the campaign, the PHI100 consistently forecast a Tory win for several weeks before polling day.
To be fair, the unrelated ConservativeHome website also made a confident prediction based on its close knowledge of Tory activists:
Based on a wide range of conversations we’ve had throughout the day with people in the field and with senior Tory and other insiders we are very confident that on the basis of patterns of turnout, postal votes and canvass returns Boris Johnson has been elected Mayor of London.
YouGov has also triumphed in the polls. Through the campaign there was a clear difference between their predictions and that of other pollsters such as Ipsos-Mori and YouGov got it right. So did the gaming sites Politicalbetting.
Which all goes to show that a mix of more sophisticated polling and independent online journalism is changing the way you can find out what is really happening in British politics. It is a feast of new information.
And while it is good news for us it is bad news for Gordon Brown. YouGov has shown him further behind the Tories than any other pollster.