The commuter paper City AM used to have some good articles under the editorship of Allister Heath.
It is now little more than a vehicle for Euro-propaganda, with a constant puffing-up of Cameron and ‘renegotiation’. It regularly features Matthew Elliott of Business for Britain [sic], which has made it clear that it does not favour EU withdrawal.
No surprise then that City AM takes digs at UKIP.
Europhile columnist Billy Ehrenberg is dissembling as he talks down UKIP’s prospects on the strength of research by electionforecast.co.uk. Fortunately, the website has a FAQ explaining its assumptions.
Answering the question “How confident are you that UKIP will really do so poorly at converting votes into seats?” they say:
Not as confident as the model says we are, for many of the reasons noted above.
UKIP performance is uncertain in a way that is very difficult to model. Because UKIP has such a limited record in parliamentary elections, it is difficult to predict where they will perform well. Moreover, we just have no idea from recent UK history how well a party like UKIP can be expected to do in the general election compared to, for example, the EP election in 2014.
The fact that our estimates put weight on both lagged vote from 2010 and current polling means that the model is sceptical about UKIPs poll numbers, and will remain so until shortly before the election. If UKIP support holds at its current levels through election day and polling begins to indicate that UKIP support is concentrated in certain constituencies rather than inefficiently spread across most constituencies, the forecast may begin to indicate seat gains.”
In other words, it seriously understates UKIP. The party has crept up to a record 16% on Populus and touched 19% on TNS BMRB, before which it showed local leads in Lord Ashcroft’s poll data. What’s the betting that City AM will have an election hangover on May 8th?