Part two: who won the undecided voters after the first live TV debate?

So,  after our first round of research showed that there was quite some work for the various parties and their leaders to do to win over the undecided voting public, we decided to ask who came out on top after the first UK televised election debate.

As the post debate polls suggested, it seems that Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg had the most success in swaying the undecided. Unsurprising I thought as he seemingly did everything out of the guide to public speaking – looking directly down the camera, remembering the names of those who asked a question and by separating himself from the other main parties, he gave the public a reason to remember him by.

Back to the results.  Looking at the research we ran on the 13th of April, the Liberal Democrats have increased their popularity among potential voters by  10.2%.  On the other hand,  Labour’s popularity has decreased 3.35% (I thought that it would have been much higher) with the popularity of the Conservatives decreasing by 4.83%.

election vote graph

However, it would seem that neither leader did quite enough to sway the majority of the voters as the undecided only dropped by a measly 1.8%.

So, there’s still work to be done as the next round of televised debating approaches.  Stay tuned to find out who will win the battle of ‘the undecided’.


Part One: who will win the undecided voters?

Every time we pick up a paper from now until the 6th May we’ll be bombarded by images of politicians /smiling/holding babies/waving enthusiastically and generally doing everything in their power to persuade us that they are the right person for the job.

As the use of the internet and social media in particular is providing the parties with new ways to reach the voting public (think Barack Obama’s all conquering campaign team – is he the first social media president?), it’s hard to believe that everyone is talking about a possible hung parliament for the 1st time since 1974.

Maybe that’s because some people in the UK are still getting this hideously wrong.  Either that or someone forgot to send the ‘How To’ memo to Stuart MacLennan.

This interesting little tool was passed round the office last week .  A great attempt by a not for profit organisation aimed at helping you cut through the spin and get straight to the policies.

However, it would seem that the first round of campaigning has done little to sway the mood of the voting public as the results from our own research showed.

We asked 1,000 people who they were going to vote for in the coming election. A massive 27.16% of people were still undecided, with 32.77% of that percentage being females compared to only 19.02% of males. There are also considerably more undecided’s in the 16-54 age bracket compared with those in the 55+ age bracket.

glide insight undecided voters graph

As the first unveiling of party manifestos gets underway and the PR and marketing strategies of the parties go in to over drive, it’ll be interesting to see who is the most successful in swaying ‘the undecided’.

We’ll run this poll again after the historical election TV debate to see who, if any, has managed to win over the undecided majority.


Reasons to be cheerful…?

The UK is now formally, if not convincingly, out of recession. But does modest growth at the end of 2009 bode well for the immediate and long-term future? Perhaps more importantly, as the man or woman in the street plays such a key role in translating any feel-good factor into parting with cold hard cash – or credit – how optimistic do they feel? Using GlideInsight, we asked 1018 respondents from a range of ages, incomes and geographical areas across the UK to find out.

Analysts can’t agree on whether the UK economy is due to take another nose dive before it picks up again (the so-called ‘double dip’). Are our panel equally undecided? Well, no.

UK economy worse or better graph

Overwhelmingly, the mood is pessimistic with nearly three-quarters predicting a further downturn ahead of any improvement. Most optimistic in outlook are the Midlands and Wales, with Scotland and the South and North of England taking a far more cautious line. Annual income appears to play little part in overall perception, with around 75% of all income groupings up to £80,000 per year predicting a double dip.

So far, so potentially depressing. But looking longer-term, where do our panel of respondents see the UK economy by the end of 2010? Continuing the trend, little more than one in ten see the country’s finances ending the year in a position of strong growth, though interestingly only 16% predict a descent back into recession in the next 11 months. The remaining 72% forecast weaker growth, which may be as optimistic as can be hoped in the present climate.

By region, respondents in Scotland and the North of England are nearly three times as likely to predict further recession rather than strong growth.

UK economy end of 2010 graph

The Midlands, Wales and the South of England display more polarised tendencies with roughly equal numbers of respondents forecasting either strong growth or further recession in each geographical area. The 16 to 34 year old age group is split between cautious optimism and outright pessimism, with older respondents adopting a progressively gloomier stance.

Regardless of perceptions, it is clear that the political parties need to do more to engage large sections of the populace in the general dialogue.

One in four of the 16 to 34 age group is planning not to vote in the forthcoming General Election. Panel members from the Midlands and Wales display similar levels of apathy. And with more respondents across the board falling into the ‘Don’t Know’ category than expressing an allegiance to any one political party, expect the landscape to change frequently in the run up to Election Day. It’s still all to play for.


kraft’s takeover of cadbury – what the public think

As a chocolate lover, I was more than concerned about the recent take over of Cadbury by American giant Kraft… many thoughts went through my head but biggest concern (due to my love of chocolate) is ‘will the chocolate go all Americany?’.  Sabrina, who sits next to me and is from Texas will disagree on this point, but American chocolate just doesn’t taste the same (and no Sabrina, it doesn’t taste better)!!!!

Now I know that I should be worried about the bigger picture: how this affects share prices? are jobs going to be lost in the UK as a result? etc etc…. but the media are covering that angle so I feel that I don’t have to!!!

So – I used GlideInsight, our online panel research tool to see what everyone out there thought about the takeover and quite rightly, over 45% of you are very upset that the take over has happened.

kraft cadbury takeover graph

Whilst 27.72% (29.87% of women) worry about the chocolate not tasting the same (see it really does matter!).

kraft cadbury takeover graph male female

For a serious angle I did also put a question into GlideInsight about whether people thought there were going to be job losses and a massive 59.21% (65.53% from the region of Midlands and Wales) of people agreed that it was inevitable as “it always happens in these circumstances”.  Only 7.23% of people thought that there wouldnt’ be job cuts in the UK (Kraft aren’t going to be too popular when the take over begins!).

So, I guess that Cadbury chocolate from Britain may never be the same (sniff, sniff) I guess I ‘ll just have to wait and see….  or maybe I’ll have to pledge allegiance to Nestle instead.