…and this one was more in depth, suggesting it was probably commissioned by a newspaper or other media outlet.
Lots of leading questions that pissed me off, but there you go. One question is factually wrong. The Liberal Democrats have not had four leaders since their formation. They have either had three or five depending on whether you include Acting Leaders Vince Cable and Robert Maclennan. To leave off the latter is rank ignorance. He may not have set the world on fire, but he made more impact in six months than Iain Duncan Smith made in two years.
This second YouGov poll has been commissioned by Sky News. According to a report on Political Betting last Friday (http://politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2007/11/23/will-we-know-next-weekend/), Sky “will have the results to make available on the evening of Saturday 1st December.”
Given the small sample size and the weighting of responses towards activists, whatever this poll says should be taken with a pinch of salt.
The first YouGov poll was privately commissioned, presumably by one or other of the leadership campaigns. The potential advantage of such a poll is to publish the results to demonstrate momentum for your candidate. Given that many party members would have voted last weekend, you would have expected the poll to have been released shortly beforehand. The fact that the results have been kept under wraps suggests that the figures did not look good for the candidate concerned.
If you include Maclennan, don’t you have to include David Steel as well? From what I recall, the two of them were co-leaders of the part post-merger until Paddy was elected. I suppose you could argue that they were only in position as legacy from the two predecessor parties and, unlike Vince, they didn’t get the position through any internal election.