Well If You Want My Opinion...
Do you want to know how I'm going to vote? Do you want my opinion on the various party leaders? How about my thoughts on a hung parliament? Well, of course, my employer frowns on me telling you things like that but if you want to tease it out of me then all you have to do is call me at home. That's what the lady from ICM did yesterday.
"Would you be able to spare a few minutes to answer some questions...I'm not trying to sell you anything."
I wasn't convinced.
"Didn't you phone me ten minutes ago and ask about my gas central heating servicing plan?"
"No. That wasn't me. Honestly."
"Oh alright then. Ask away."
So she did. First I had to say whether on not I was likely to vote at all. Or unlikely, very unlikely, very likely or not sure. Then I had to tell her who I was going to vote for and who I voted for last time around... "if you can remember"... and then, on a scale of one to a hundred, I had to rate the four party leaders in Scotland and the three leaders at Westminster. I was still expecting her to sneak in a question about my boiler, but it never came.
I answered quickly and convincingly, like I knew my own mind. Trouble is, ten minutes after the call, I began to doubt some of my own answers. I wanted to phone her back with a few caveats and modifications, but the opinion poll system doesn't deal in that level of sophistication.
Anyway, you know how everyone says they don't know anyone who has ever taken part in one of those surveys? Well, now you do. And if you notice some strange findings in tomorrow's newspapers you can blame me.