Daily archives: April 23, 2010

A tweet from the Sun

A tweet from the Sun:

Sun_Election Tonight’s Sun/YouGov poll reveals that Nick Clegg has failed to repeat his poll surge after the second leaders debate…

The anti-Lib Dem campaigning by Murdoch is so blatant it is really not funny. Now when they release the figures for their daily poll, the LibDems are the only party who have increased their vote share on the day before.

Tory 34, LD 29 (up 1), New Labour 29

This was the first opinion poll taken after the hounds of hell of the entire Tory media were released on Nick Clegg yesterday. How Murdoch must be frustrated at the loss of his iron grip on British public opinion. Expect new heights of hysterical Tory attack in the week ahead.

I now have a source within YouGove who tells me that in fact the poll showed the LibDems in the lead and Con on 30, but that was before “adjustment”.

YouGove, you have some disgruntled employees. Again if you want to deny this, I will publish your denial. There have been visits to this site from the YouGove server all day.

A roundup of some brilliant dissections of media bias here.


I didn’t realise it was the great Justin who invented #nickcleggsfault.

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YouGov Push Polling

YouGov spluttered and denied push polling in response to my exposure of their push polling.


Where did they publish their denial? Conservative Home!!!!! Entirely appropriate, in fact.


Here is what Mr Shakespeare, Chief Executive of YouGov, says:

Push-polling is a very different beast. Push-polling is unethical. Push-polling is conducting a poll to influence a respondent for some particular purpose. Mainly it is when people are pretending to conduct a poll, but actually they are contacting hundreds of thousands of people to repeat attack lines ?” it’s campaigning masquerading as polling, and in New Hampshire it’s even illegal (and quite right too).

Another variant of push-polling (at least that’s how the phrase is often used) is when you ask ‘questions’ designed to influence the outcome of a poll. For example, if I ask you to choose which you like best from a list of positive attributes about a candidate and then ask you who you would want to vote for.

Message testing is an extremely valuable and reasonable form of research. Push-polling of any kind is plain wrong. YouGov, like all members of the British Polling Council, does lots of message-testing, and zero push-polling.

I hope that’s clear.

Have a close look at Stephan Shakespeare


That is the face of a liar. YouGov did ask the question I initially quoted, smearing Nick Clegg over campaign donations from a criminal. Oh, and here is a screenshot of a YouGov online poll:


I have been sent this by someone who assures me it is genuine. I should state that YouGov have refused either to confirm or to deny if it is genuine.

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What The Public Really Think

Here is a list of some of the search terms which have brought people to this blog via search engines in the last hour:

tory bias in sky debate

sky biased against clegg

adam boulton bias debate

was adam boulton biased

why civil liberties not on debate agenda

murdock pushing tories in debate

sky bias

sky news bias debate

yougov murdoch

sky news biased moderator

yougov bias lib dem smear

questions fixed PM debate

yougov anti Lib Dem survey

Interesting isn’t it? I expect hundreds more in the course of today. There are a substantial number of people out there who have seen through the corporate media and are searching the internet for some truth.

Which is why we have had 68,104 unique visitors so far in April.

I am also on Facebook and I believe you can follow this blog on Twitter, though I confess to not having mastered the best use of Twitter yet. And of course you can purchase my books from the top left hand column.


“Craig Murray” has been displaced for the first time ever as the most used recent search to bring people to this site. The most used search this morning is “Debate sky bias”, And that is only those who used that precise search – there are 78 searches relating to Sky or Murdoch bias in the most recent 100 searches that brought people here.

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Sky Leaders’ Debate – Murdoch Made

I really enjoyed yesterday’s liveblogging. 4,426 unique viewers dropped in.

In retrospect, the strongest impression was of Sky News’ Tory bias. The most startling moment was when Adam Boulton, the moderator, brought up yesterday’s Daily Telegraph slur about Nick Clegg.

But the directorial bias was what stayed with me. There was a telling moment when Cameron told a very weak “joke” indeed, and the Director instantly cut to three smartly dressed people in the audience who were improbably laughing uproariously. It happened again later, cut so quickly it must have been pre-arranged. When Brown was speaking, there was a lingering cut on a man yawning.

Sky had chosen the questions, and here the bias could not have been more open. The first question was a Europhobic one, designed to launch the debate on what they believe to be the Tories’ strongest ground. The phrasing of the second was remarkable – from memory “As leader, would you be prepared to take the tough decisions required to keep this country safe, by joining in multilateral military action to root out terrorism.” It was pure Fox News stuff.

[BREAKING NEWS – I have had Sky News on for half an hour. First they had a paper review with one Labour journalist and one Tory (Sun) journalist. No Liberal. Then they had Tory frontbencher William Hague and Labour frontbencher Douglas Alexander on to discuss the debate. No Liberal. Apparently dead to irony, the Sky newscaster asked them “In the interests of politicial balance, would you two like to comment on Nick Clegg’s perfomance”. Absolutely beyond parody.]

Back to the debate.

The other directorial trick Sky used was in cutting from speakers. The appeal of Nick Clegg talking direct to camera having been much discussed last week, the Sky director chopped him up, cutting rapidly around whenever he was talking. It was most evident in the closing statements, which Cameron did straight to camera. While Clegg was doing his closing statement we saw at different times the audience, his back and a Sky News caption. Cameron was given more “sincere face time” from the director throughout.

The most stunning moment of Sky bias was when Adam Boulton dredged up from his position as moderator the Daily Telegraph smear against Nick Clegg.

On substance, I thought Clegg the most impressive and Brown much better than expected. Cameron did OK, but no more than that. After the ground was so carefully prepared for him, the Tories must be in despair at his inability to shine,

Clegg’s opening statement was brilliant and absolutely different in tone and substance. His mention of conspiracy to torture, Iraq and the abandonment of British values in our foreign policy was the seam he should have mined. But then he allowed himself to be boxed in by the terms of debate set by Sky. That loaded pro-foreign wars question is where he should have broken out and queried whether illegal invasion, torture, bombing of civilians and invasion of Muslim lands, do not cause terrorism here rather than protect us from it.

But he didn’t. Instead he talked about the need for better equipment. I think there are two explanations. First I think he is anxious not to seem weak on defence. Secondly I think he is in any event less naturally liberal than whoever drafted his opening statement. Clegg tends to the bomber Ming Campbell wing of the party.

But on Trident, the two parties ganging up on him will have done him no harm, and hopefully have led some more Labour supporters to wonder why they are backing such a right wing party.

Both Clegg and Brown took on the shallow Tory Europhobia head on. The failure of this to boost Cameron in the polls must dent the Tory confidence that anti-Europeanism is a trump card. Clegg forcefully attacked Cameron’s alliance with right wing nutters in the European parliament and Cameron was pretty stumped, making the weak point that they had not attacked Lech Kaczynski when he had just died. I worry a bit about how many viewers knew what Clegg was talking about here.

A final thought. Alex Salmond got to make a few media appearances afterwards and showed the strength of a more forceful line against Trident and the War on Terror. Also some much harder blows on Gordon Brown.

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