John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Saturday, January 15, 2005
 

Polling Report


Polling Report is a new datasynthesis type website where the results of various types of opinion polls are found. I am not aware of any other source of this information for the UK which is as complete.

As someone who has been canvassing now almost for 30 years (actually 28 1/2) I find voting opinion polls a very rough source of information. Because they do not look at the situation in specific seats they do not pick up things that are picked up more locally. They do, however, give some guide as to how people's views are going.

Polling Report's ID analyses make interesting reading particularly this ICM poll.

The government's posturing on ID cards/database is driven moreso by trying to get an image of being "tough on crime" (after a 13 year old was caught driving drunk at 70mph in a stolen car having been banned twice before which my 14 year old finds full of irony).

The government accept that ID cards/database will do nothing to help with terrorism and could only affect 5% of benefit fraud.

Most people consider policies primarily from their own perspective. ID cards/database are generally seen as something that will affect someone else.

However, the interesting part of the poll is that when people find out the cost is £35 that only 10% say they are willing to pay although 68% still view the concept as favourable.

There is a much finer balance on the issue of whether the £5,500,000,000 would be better spent on enforcement with then 51% being supportive of ID cards and 46% on enforcement.

It goes to the nub of the problem with Blairism which is chasing the focus groups rather than aiming for good government.

I think it is far better to argue the case for what is the right way to do things. That is what representative democracy is supposed to mean.
 
Comments:
"Chasing focus groups"...? A bit rich that John. One of my major criticisms of Blairism in the first term was that Blair followed the opinion polls and focus groups. However, courting popularity is haredly something one can criticise the man for in his second term. He almost seems to have gone out of his way on Iraq, tuition fees and Foundation Trusts to be confrontational. Now the Liberals... on the other hand, adapt their views to what they think will be popular constituency by constituency. A democracy sometimes means standing on your views even if they are unpopular, and over the last couple of years, dislike him as you may, Blair has done that consistently.

Nice blog, by the way. Let me know when you are playing with Andy.
 
The particular point about Blair in the second term is that the contentious things he have done have been contentious specifically with his core team of activists (which is why there are now fewer). At one stage the Iraq war did have majority support, but not amongst traditional Labour activists.

If you allow me a visa into Sandwell I could perhaps turn up at the Bear for a number or two.
 
Andy has moved from the Bear. A new landlord took over and obviously didn't like Jazz.
 
I think he still gigs in Sandwell though. Sam would let me sit in for a number or two (visa permitting).

I am looking at establishing something in Birmingham again. I played last thursday at the Jazz/Funk event at The Village. That, however, is not Jazz/Funk, but more like a Jam session around a couple of chords.

Not really my scene. I like the Jazz Standards.
I was running a session at the Jug a couple of years ago, but it was damaged by double booking.

My ex office keyboard is a good keyboard for this sort of function, but very heavy. It needed my children to help me carry it into the house. I really need a lighter one for gigging.
 
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