The second wave of the British Election Study has just been released. With almost 27,000 respondents who answered both the first and second waves and with hundreds of questions, it’s a thing of beauty. The second wave went into the field in May and June this year, and they re-asked the same question about the name of your MP they asked first time. And they get almost identical answers.
Of respondents who responded to both waves of the survey, some 62% got the name of their MP right in both waves;22% admitted they didn’t know both times.
The next biggest category were the 6% of respondents who admitted they didn’t know first time round, but now got it right; and they are partially offset by 4% who got it right last time and now say they know don’t know.
The remaining six percent or so plumped for a variety of the fake names they BES offers or went for don’t know, but in each case this was less than 1% of the sample.
You have to be slightly sceptical about knowledge questions in panel surveys (they are perhaps more likely to get it right second time round – as indeed, marginally, they were), but still this is a much higher figure than the figures usually quoted for knowledge of MPs.