We’ve asked three of Britain’s leading opinion pollsters, Stephan Shakespeare of YouGov, Andrew Hawkins of CommunicateResearch and Ben Page of Ipsos Mori, five questions on polling:

  1. Blair is still in office.  The public have yet to see Brown in Downing Street.  Then there’s the silly and party conference seasons.  When will be a good time to start taking the headline polls seriously again?
  2. The traditional view is that governments are most unpopular in the middle of their terms and their popularity generally increases closer to elections.  In this era of constant electioneering does that historical pattern still hold true?
  3. What do you think of Robert Worcester’s belief that economic competence, party unity and leader image are principal determinants of a party’s success?
  4. Do you think that public opinion moves more quickly or more slowly than in the past?
  5. Are Liberal Democrat voters a largely Conservative or Labour-leaning group?

Each day over the next five days we shall be posting our experts answers to one of the questions. So to start watch what they say about question 1 below. In summary: Stephan Shakespeare says we should always take the polls seriously because they always tell you something but they will only mean something for the next election after conference, Ben Page agrees that we need to wait until after the conferences, and Andrew Hawkins says we should take them seriously now. 

6 comments for: The pollsters on polling: When will be a good time to start taking the headline polls seriously again?

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