Friday, 23 April 2010

These X-Factor Style Debate Results are Worryinlgy Influential

The results from the Polls last night read like this:

Populus - Clegg won
Clegg: 36%
Cameron: 27%
Brown: 27%

Guardian/ICM - Clegg won
Clegg: 33%
Cameron: 29%
Brown: 29%

ITV/ComRes - Clegg won
Clegg: 33%
Brown: 30%
Cameron: 30%

Angus Reid - Clegg won
Clegg: 35%
Cameron: 33%
Brown: 23%

YouGov - Cameron won
Cameron: 36%
Clegg: 32%
Brown: 29%

Overwhelmingly these results point to a win for Nick Clegg, in the second debate. However the fact that people are being polled on who won the debate, translates for many people as "I would vote for Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats at the General Election". In reality however the only place where the poll results should hold any credence is Sheffield Hallam Nick Clegg's constituency.

This series of debates is presidential both in form and in how the results are published, encouraging people to debate the three leaders personal qualities and speaking ability, rather than the policies of the prospective parties. People after watching this debate will go out on May 6th and vote for Cleggs skill as a speaker or Cameron's dissecting of Labours policies rather than their local Liberal Democrat, Conservative or Labour MP and how they can aid them personally within their constituency.

If come May the Liberal Democrats obtain some position within Whitehall, voters are going to wish they had supported plans to sack MPs, as potentially a fair number of below-par Liberal Democrat candidates may obtain seats on the back of their leaders speaking ability.

I don't mean to detract from instant polling which is brilliantly innovative, however I believe it confirms the political ignorance of much of the electorate who maybe happy to vote without truly understanding party policies far more than it predicts a potential electoral winner.

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