"The arms that you wield now are not such as your forefathers wielded; but they are infinitely more effective, and infinitely more irresistable" ~ Cymru Fydd leaflet, 1890

Tuesday 17 December 2013

A good place to start

Another rag, another poll. Except this time it's the Western Fail asking the people of Wales how they would vote in a referendum on income tax-varying powers. The headline from the Fail states that it's "too close to call", and since the gap between yes and no is just 2% you might be forgiven for agreeing with them. But when you realise they weren't asking a straight yes or no question you begin to wonder how big the gap really is. National Left has posted a link to the official poll page so I can see the stats and delve a little deeper.
Aargh my eyes! Learn about images please Beaufort
First of all the above graphic is not mine, it came from this page. It's a basic pie chart with text, as a general rule of thumb something with this few colours (like text and/or a graph) should be saved as a .png.

Now on to looking at the data, they've asked the question to 1022 adults. Some of these 'adults' weren't old enough to vote so we'll be discounting them. Some didn't know and some said they would not vote, either way we wont be counting these since in a referendum you don't get to vote for "I don't know".

So based on the 1022 people asked the answers they gave are roughly as follows. I say roughly since they've clearly rounded the figures but without seeing the data you can't tell whether they have rounded one down and another up. As an example the yes could have been 32.49 and the no could have been 29.5.

Realistically with both yes and no ending in .49 the sum checks out as 1021.8. But we don't really need the exact figures since this exercise is just going to be about showing that they have spun the data from a poll in a way that only makes sense if they are trying to discredit the notion of tax-varying powers. They are using the poll to show that less than a third of people in Wales support tax-varying powers. And they are using people who would not vote to make this claim.

So we take the 327 YES and 307 NO and work out the percentages and we get the following.

More than half of people in Wales support tax-varying powers. Share via twitter | facebook
Well look at that, instead of less than a third of people in Wales being in favour we suddenly have more than half of people being in favour. And since the Blue Tories have come out and said they would campaign for tax-varying powers, Plaid Cymru naturally support the powers as do the Lib Dems. The only stumbling block is to get the party who is actually in charge of Wales to agree to holding a referendum. No doubt the Red Tories will hold this back until the next Welsh elections and use it as a manifesto pledge and / or a carrot in case of a coalition deal being needed.

But until such a time as this happens we have a start point and whilst the data above does show a YES vote it's also worth noting that, as with most polls, it is the people who haven't yet made up their mind who could swing it either way. Over 51% is a great place to pitch base camp though!

Naturally if Beaufort or the Fail want to show the exact data then I'd happily edit this to show exact percentages.

Poll this over to twitter | facebook

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