YouGov/Murdoch Distort Poll To Stop Lib Dem Momentum 55

YouGov produce a daily poll for the Sun and Sunday Times. Today’s YouGov was the only post-debate poll to show the LibDems in third place.

At comment 268 on the thread linked below, we hear about their next poll:


Just done a YouGov, Mostly about Clegg & LD

Here was one of the question

“Nick Cleggs says the other parties are to blame for the MP scandals, he has taken money from a criminal on the run, many of his MPs have been found guilty of breaking the rules and his own party issued guidance on how to fiddle the expenses system?”

I’d say that was fairly direct!

There were some 17 other questions re the LD

by sealo0 April 18th, 2010 at 10:33 am

I asked on the thread whether YouGov asked that before asking about voting intention. Sealo replied that indeed this was the first question, and others attacking the Lib Dems in the same vein followed. Only then did they ask about voting intention.

The proposition above is, obviously to anyone, not really a question but a set of dubious propaganda statements designed to influence the interviewee.

Plainly this is a deliberate attempt to produce a poll which shows the Lib Dem surge as a blip, and thus discourages potential Lib Dems voters. That the Murdoch press pull such a stunt should surprise nobody. But even though they are getting huge money from Murdoch for these daily polls, YouGov must realise that this abrogates all professional methodology and breaches the ethics of the polling industry. The senior management of YouGov must resign.


Anthony Wells of YouGov (known henceforth as YouGove) admits YouGov asking these “questions, but claims the voting intention question ought to have been asked first. He also points out that the antiLib Dem questions were “Not for publication”.

I bet they bloody weren’t.

See 14.15 on this thread. Hat tip Roger Mexico.

YouGove – Rupert Murdoch’s Pollster of Choice

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55 thoughts on “YouGov/Murdoch Distort Poll To Stop Lib Dem Momentum

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  • Adam

    So YouGov are getting into push-polling now? That’s an American import we could certainly do without…

  • Anonymous

    In Edinburgh the Lib Dem/SNP gang have done very badly. Totalitarianism like you have never seen. After having these monkeys in charge, worse than the previous Labour gang there is NO WAY I’D VOTE LIB DEM. Convince me otherwise. Unapproachable, ignorant, enter into contracts which cannot be contract because there cannot be an agreement, wasting money like water, lying to the suckers on the street, regular mis-information and cover ups. Funny enough that the LD’S demanded an investigation into the £400k from the City Connect project which vanished into thin air. That was while Labour was in power. Once they got in they appeared to develop amnesia about the £400k.

  • Dave

    This is not surprising. Nobody but the Tories are allowed to complete full sentences on Sky News either, so the next debate with Adam Boulton, the worst offender, is certain to be a mess. I thought trying to influence voting for personal and monetary gain was a crime?

  • Craig

    11.39am anon poster

    How can I convince you something is not true, when your allegations contain not a shred of detail on specific cases?

  • Oscar

    Sadly for all the LibDems salivating at the moment, the surge will be a blip whether Murdoch manipulates the polls or not.

    The problem is that less than 25% of the electorate actually saw the debate and only half of them thought that Clegg was the best performer.

    Conclusion: the surge in LibDem support is based largely on hearsay and the desperation for a viable alternative to Brown or Cameron. It is largely not based on anything substantive, although I ddo accept that it may push the shaare of the vote up by a couple oof points in the end analysis.

    Unfortunately, the LibDems, although they may be a useful coalition partner, are not a viable alternative mostly because they themselves have not even considered the possibilty of governing in their own right.

    Almost everything Clegg says bears little scrutiny but this is not an issue when he is seen primarily as a vehicle of protest.

    Methinks Clegg really needed a one-off debate to come the Thursday before polling day. Expectation is everything

    and from here on in, Clegg can only disappoint for a host of reasons.

    To be honest, I have no time for either Brown or Cameron but I think it is outrageous that Clegg should have been given this golden opportunity to present himself as the only alternative when there are plenty more (and more radical) options out there such as UKIP, SNP/Plaid, Greens etc.

  • George Dutton

    “Murdoch, using highly leveraged funds, purchased the 20th Century Fox movie studios, which he used to spawn the fourth national television network, Fox-TV, which has outlets in all major media markets.”…

    “Mass Media, Mass Entertainment, Mass Brainwashing”…

  • Craig


    See my earlier posts. The polls showed a LibDem surge of 4 to 7% in the tow days before the debate. It’s not just one TV appearance.

  • oldnat

    Have a look at the previous one. Again a set of leading questions to counter the SNP.

  • Oscar

    The days immediately prior to the debate covered the LibDem manifesto launch and, just as at conference time, the increased exposure brings a modest surge in support.

    The debate has allowed this to be built on a bit. Time will tell, but I am sure we will find it is mostly transient.

  • mike cobley

    Amusingly, both Tories and Labour have decided to ratchet up the pressure on the LDs; yes, that’s right, gang up on the underdog – I’m sure the public will applaud that move.

    There’s an old saying – never interrupt your enemy when they’re doing something wrong.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    What’s happened to Larry, I wonder? He seems to have evanesced since the host of this blog announced that he was re-joining the LibDems. Perhaps this is because naturally with the General Election coming-up and with the LibDem connection, much of the posting now concerns internal UK politics and he’s meant to be from St Louis in the USA. Or perhaps…

    And where’s ‘John Cord’? He made one statement a few weeks ago which might possibly have been perceived as a direct threat to the wife of the host of the blog, and then like the Cheshire Cat, he vanished, leaving only his smile.

    “Well, well,” said the man in the raincoat, before intoning, “It rains regularly in Georgia on Sundays, but only in leap years.”

    And the other, identical man in the raincoat answered:

    “The tickets are rectangular this time around.”

    They were in the same raincoat.

  • Frank Bowles

    Methinks Oscar misses the point. Of course we all see events like the debate through our own prism, distorting (if not eliminating) the reality. It is not yet clear whether the debate will sustain this election as a real game changer; the two party system is so deeply embedded and offers permanent and sustained advantage against any newcomer regardless of their perspective, ability or quality of programme.

    At a general election, everything told to the voter, drilled into them says that there are only two parties able to win, competetent to govern. Whatever qualities a contender may have, you waste your vote if you choose not to hold your nose and pick one of the two; otherwise you don’t influence the contest. Despite the alleged intelligence of the electorate it doesn’t really come down to much more than that.

    Now all of a sudden the electorate is being told that maybe this was wrong. Looks like lots of credible people are saying that Nick is a real contender. And a few polls have started to put the three parties neck and neck.

    That doesn’t mean that a Liberal Democrat victory in the popular vote or a government is very likely but it means that they are in the game now and they have the opportunity to present ideas on the same playing field as the others. Whether Lib Dem high command is smart enough to promote the more radical end of liberalism to differential them in policy terms is though still up for debate…

  • Richard Robinson

    “What’s happened to Larry, I wonder? … And where’s ‘John Cord’?”

    Has dreoilin really gone ? I’d miss her.

  • AJS

    Why has this blog gone from being a mildly interesting foreign affairs blog with insight from a former ambassador, to being an angry Lib Dem rant blog? To think I wrote my MA Dissertation about you as well!!

  • Andy


    Umm. What makes you think you have the right to demand that anyone’s personal blog should remain on the topic that personally interests you or subscribes to your political slant?

    I mean honestly… just stop reading it if you don’t like it. Or, as a suggestion; politely request that you’d like to see more blog posts on a particular subject.

  • ScouseBilly

    Craig, the comment you refer to is now #270 (how it could go up not down is a mystery – out of sync insertions?).

    Anyhow, as a former market research professional with a degree in psychology, I am amazed that Kellner’s Yougov can get away with this. It breaks all the rules of social research protocol.

    Then again, not a word from the Market Research Society, as usual.

  • Craig


    Yes. My own comment moved from 280 to 282 – not sure where it is now.

    I am stunned about YouGov too. Kellner just seeing an opportunity to throw over integrity and coin it?

  • Craig


    Wll I was a Lib Dem member throughout my diplomatic career (assuming that’s what your MA thesis was about) and had been since I joined the Liberals in 1973.

    I still want to be able to influence foreign policy rather than just complain about it.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Nice to see you back George.

    Murdoch ensures all his editors sing from the same hymn sheet. All 179 of his newspapers supported the smashing of Iraq because ‘Murdering Murdoch’ believed that deposing the Iraqi leader, displacing 4,000,000 Iraqi people and murdering thousands of Iraqi kids would lead to cheaper oil.

    He said, “The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy…would be $20 a barrel for oil. That’s bigger than any tax cut in any country.” “Once it [Iraq] is behind us, the whole world will benefit from cheaper oil which will be a bigger stimulus than anything else.”

    Your time is soon up ‘Murdering Murdoch’ and your entertainment empire in the UK will crumble when ‘Utility Warehouse’ gains enough power to destroy your UK hold on it’s people.

    Start living the nightmare, while disabled, disfigured and traumatised Iraqi kids curse your very existence.

    Your ‘hackman’ Andy Coulson at £450,000/year will ensure the Conservative Party demise and your support of Zionist extremists will ensure your place in purgatory with your best friend Sharon.

  • Roger Mexico

    Craig Murray – According to Anthony Wells of YouGov on his own UK Polling Report site (thread YouGov/Sunday Times at 2.15) the YouGov question was in a private poll (presumably for the Tories or some associated group) to see how this line of attack would go down.

    Very well with the libel lawyers judging from some of the replies on UKPR.

    He also said the question was also asked after voting intention was established so it wasn’t an attempt to change that.

  • Jack

    I believe this post to be a blatant lie. YouGov would never put a question like that, suggesting thatClegg himself said he had taken money from a criminal. Nobody at YouGov is as stupid and illiterate as the person who wrote that rubbish.

  • Craig


    You didn’t read the comment immediately above yours. It appears You Gov are admitting they asked this question.

    You Gov claim they asked it after not before asking voting intention. The person who (accurately) gave the information that he had been asked this question, specifically says they asked it before asking voting intention.

    Either way, a total disgrace for You Gov.

  • amk

    “Craig, the comment you refer to is now #270 (how it could go up not down is a mystery – out of sync insertions?).”

    I expect earlier posts had been held back for moderation but have now been inserted. They go in order of submission, not order of appearance.

    IMO a blog that numbers its posts should assign a number at submission (before moderation) and not subsequently change it. There will be gaps in the numbers that appear on the Web page but it would not break referring to other posts.

  • Roger Mexico


    To be fair to YouGov if it’s a private poll, clients are entitled to ask whatever they like. YouGov and the other pollsters only apply their standards when polls are going to be published and their name as pollsters associated with it.

    Remember most polling done by these organisations is commercial and this would be treated as an example of this. Opinion polls are almost like loss-leaders for pollsters – they put their names before the public and the firms that might use them.

    There’s no evidence that this poll was ever to used in public (the tip off came from someone being polled) and I suspect YouGov would play hell with any client who subsequently released the results of a private poll as if it came via YouGov.

    Thinking about the placement of the voting intention question, I wonder now if it was asked at the beginning and the end of the list to see if the “information” had any effect.

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