Ah, pollsters and BBC panels again!....
There was a classic Newsnight voter's panel last night. It came from a Labour marginal in Walsall (presumably Walsall North - the most marginal of the three Walsall constituencies - update: Yes, it was Walsall North. Evan said so earlier), and Evan Davis admitted from the start that it had an inbuilt Labour bias:
And to get a taste of how all this has played with voters in this marginal seat, we convened a panel of Walsall voters. A small focus group of people who have been Labour or Tory, or undecided between Labour and Tory. Ipsos Mori selected the panel for us, and, as this is a Labour seat, there is a tilt towards Labour in the numbers, but Tories and undecideds are there, too.
Tories there? Really? When asked for their voting intention at the end the panel split fairly evenly between Labour and undecideds, with no one declaring they were going to vote Tory, and all the (former) Tories either turning undecided or gravitating towards Labour.
So, if this panel is representative then Labour veteran David Winnick should have absolutely no fears on election day. His 1,937 majority in 2015 looks set to be massively increased as the Tory vote collapses.
As Evan said at the end,
The people of Walsall there and their views. And you see Jeremy Corbyn getting a relatively warm reception in that group. Is that the prevalent view in places like this, or was the panel untypical? You never really know until the day, do you?
Indeed you don't. This was a panel which answered 'Jeremy Corbyn' to the question, 'Which one looks more confident, Jeremy Corbyn or Theresa May?' and answered the same way to identical questions about 'Which one looks more prime ministerial?', 'Which one looks more compassionate?' and 'Which one looks more competent'? Only on 'Which one looks more serious?' did Theresa May get a few shouts.
It will be interesting to see how the Walsall constituencies declare on Friday morning. Ipsos Mori is another polling organisation whose reputation will be under heavy scrutiny this week.