Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Party Membership, Soap & YouGov

One of the major downsides of being a member of a political party is the illegitimacy the expression of your political opinions acquire. I only got onto Question Time's audience through some fast-talking to the BBC telephone staff, and I suspect YouGov (with whom I am registered) will never invite me to participate in one of their General Election polls. I recieved an e-mail today from them and hoped it may be my chance to pledge my soul to Charles Kennedy in their statistics. I eagerly followed the link...

"We would like to know what you think of bars of bathroom soap."


But I'm going to post on YouGov, because they are an interesting phenomenon. The idea of an internet-based polling company is not surprising, but what is astounding is that they work. "They shouldn't work, but they do," is how one excellent webpage offering a guide to the UK pollsters. Quite how the bias of the fact that all their samples are from internet users still gives them success is bizarre. Presumably they adjust their information for gender and age (and that probablye explains why a 20-something male like me doesn't get invited to respond very often), but even so, it is an interesting fact of life. Still, whether they get the 2005 race right, and whether I ever get a poll from them will have to be seen.

Oh-- before I sign off: an update on the bar soap survey. "Which of these statements best describes how often you personally use bar soap?"

I can assure any undecided voters reading this that Liberal Democrats would never come into the "Never" or "Once a month categories" and, as I am certain a forthcoming YouGov poll will show, are all 'Three times a day or more often'. (Except in the South-West, where we have a completely different policy of '3 to 4 times a week').