NEWS1 June 2003

YouGov unseats rivals in Scottish election polls

Online polling company, YouGov beat rival firms System 3, Scottish Opinion and MORI in producing the most accurate predictions for the outcome of last month’s Scottish Parliament elections.

YouGov was the only company to predict that Labour had lost ground since 1999 in the constituency vote and that the Conservative party had maintained its support – actually increasing its hold in Scotland by 1% .

MORI recorded the least accurate predictions of the four, with an average error of just over four percentage points. Looking at predictions for Labour and Tory constituency results only, System 3, Scottish Opinion and MORI showed average errors of 4.5%, 5.5% and 6.5% respectively. YouGov’s average error was just 1%.

Writing in The Scotsman on 5 May, John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, said pollsters have a “tendency to underestimate the Conservative vote and overestimate Labour’s”.

“The exception was the poll conducted by… YouGov,” he said. “It has already stolen a large proportion of the polling market… and [this] performance will only enhance its reputation.”

June | 2003