In Defence of Liberty

Driven by data; ridden with liberty.

The Phantom Poll of Norwich South

Clive Lewis MP (Labour, Norwich South) will be defending his seat in the upcoming general election. To further this cause, Mr Lewis posted what was seemingly a constituency poll, showing that Labour were on 36%, and the Conservatives were on 28%. The (properly-scaled) chart was described as:

ICM poll of Norwich South Jan 2017.

Martin Boon, the head of research for ICM, responded to Mr Lewis’ post:

Neither I, nor anyone at [ICM Research] has any knowledge of this poll. Please withdraw our name from it.


No constituency poll of Norwich South had been undertaken by ICM.

What the hell was it then?


ICM did conduct some research for the group Represent Us in January 2017.

This ICM poll of 1,574 GB adults in Labour-held constituencies was conducted online (from the NewVista panel) between 20th and 22nd January 2017.

The purpose of this poll was estimate how different groups of voters — by which party they voted for 2015 and how they voted in the 2016 EU referendum — would respond to Labour and Liberal Democrat policy on exiting the EU, in terms of keeping or changing their voting intention.

Represent Us had drawn their estimates for how large these groups are through two public sources: a YouGov poll showing the national proportions of EU referendum voters among the main parties, which was then adjusted according to local educational demographics; and the constituency-level estimates of Remain and Leave vote shares by Dr Henretty of the University of East Anglia.

The results of the ICM poll — as to how vote intentions would change — were then projected onto Labour constituencies, and used to estimate how many seats could be lost if Labour pursued a particular policy on exiting the EU.

It is a projection for the Norwich South constituency, and not a poll of that constituency.

Clive Lewis MP and his team misattributed this research as a constituency poll of Norwich South by ICM; and then mistakenly asserted Dr Henretty had conducted this projection for Represent Us, when that group had merely used Dr Henretty’s public estimates of constituency Remain-Leave vote shares.

This post has been re-issued by Clive Lewis MP, with the more opaque (and slightly inaccurate) description that it is “recent polling analysis for Norwich South”.


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This entry was posted on April 27, 2017 by in National Politics and tagged , , , , .
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