Turnout figures

April 20th, 2010 by

Liberal Conspiracy, I’ve noticed, are quoting the YouGov polling figures in full – not just the headline percentages, but some of the subsidiary questions. (14/4; 18/4).

The one that interests me is the “likelihood to vote” question. Last week, 65% of those polled said they were “absolutely certain” to vote; this week, 68%. Now, these percentages are probably overoptomistic – people do like sounding politically involved and keen when asked questions, and there are of course no shortage of people who intend to vote, but get stuck in traffic coming home from work, or come down with the flu, or simply forget.

If we assume everyone overestimates their willingness to vote by ~10%, then we’re looking at an expected turnout of 75-78%. (If we assume they overestimate by ~20%, then we’re looking at an expected turnout of 66-68% – less remarkable, but still better than recent standards)

I wonder if we have the polling likelihood question from previous years, to compare the actual result and see what our modifier should be…

(Also: it’s interesting to see the likelihood of voting ticking up along with the recent swing to the Lib Dems. Cause or effect?)

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