Sunday, April 23, 2017

When the polls are too good ...

There are a number of reasons why I think that Conservatives would be most unwise to put too much reliance on all the opinion polls suggesting Theresa May is in an unassailable position.

The first is, as we found out over the 2015 General Election, the EU Referendum, and the election of Donald Trump, polls have a significant margin of error: sometimes they get it wrong, sometimes between the poll being taken and the actual vote people change their minds. And people have six weeks between now and 8th June to change their minds.

The second is that even if a poll is right, if votes are in the wrong place the candidate or party with most votes can still lose - as Hillary Clinton found out in 2016. The 2017 general election is actually 650 local contests and it's possible to pile up votes in your own party's safe seats or reduce margins a bit in the other party's safe seats while loosing in the marginal which determine the election. In recent decades Britain's electoral system has appeared to be biased against the Conservatives - though to be completely truthful, nobody knows for certain whether that will still be the case next time.

The third, problem is that, as Paul Goodman points out on Conservative Home here. if a party appears to be doing ridiculously well in the opinion polls that can make their voters complacent so that they don't think they need to go out and vote, or their activists can get overconfident and arrogant.

Conservative campaigners should not assume this election is in the bag and should be careful not to take voters for granted. We must put forward the positive achievements of the government and the equally positive things we want to do over the next five years.

The only way to make sure Jeremy Corbyn does not become Prime Minister is to turn out on 8th June and vote Conservative.

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