Tag Archives: yougov

A reason to be sceptical of what the public tells opinion pollsters

Much can be learnt from opinion polls, but a reminder of why not all results should be taken at face value is this:

If there were local council elections in your area on May 5th, how likely would you be to vote in them, where 0 means you will definitely not vote, and 10 means you definitely will vote?

10 – will definitely vote: 52%

This poll is not unusual in showing more people saying they will certainly vote than seems credible – and polls before previous elections (i.e. where we know the actual subsequent turnout) have often shown the number of …

Posted in Polls | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Fairer votes referendum: it needs to be about the voting system, not the government

Contrasting poll results from YouGov and ICM on the AV referendum show how important it is avoid the referendum becoming a vote for or against the government rather than about the merits of the alternative vote compared to first past the post.

An ICM poll has found the Yes camp leading by 35% – 22% (with the balance don’t know or wouldn’t vote), which compares to a 35% – 41% deficit on the latest YouGov poll.

However, there is an important difference between the wording of the two polling questions, with YouGov’s question starting, “The Conservative-Liberal Democrat government are committed …

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Market Research Society rules that it is ethical to poll about false personal allegations

The Market Research Standards Board (MRSB) has cleared YouGov of all the complaints made about its polling of 16-19 April during the general election – but in so doing has raised a big question about what now counts as ‘ethical’ polling. The MRSB’s ruling gives the green light to pollsters asking questions on behalf of their clients which contain false allegations about a person, even if those allegations have not previously been made in public.

The Market Research Society Code of Conduct (to which YouGov subscribes, along with other British political pollsters), states that “researchers shall be … honest” and …

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Is there still inequality in the workplace?

Do you think women in Britain have equal job opportunities with men, or not?

Men: Yes 51%, No 43% – net +8%
Women: Yes 25%, No 63% – net -38%

Net scores by political preference:

Conservative: 0%
Lib Dem: -22%
Labour: -25%

Source: YouGov, fieldwork 30 Septemeber – 1 October

Posted in Polls | Also tagged | 8 Comments

83% support child benefit cut

A YouGov poll in The Sun this morning has 83% supporting the plans to scrap child benefit for high-rate taxpayers, with only 15% opposing the idea and an astonishingly small 2% who don’t have an opinion.

Whether that will calm Cameron’s nerves when faced with the full fury of the Daily Mail remains to be seen.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 23 Comments

Has the long-term decline in trust finally bottomed out?

It has been a regular finding of both MORI and YouGov research that the public’s trust in members of different professions has been steadily declining for many years. However, the latest survey from YouGov suggests this decline has stopped, with several professions – including politicians – seeing a recent recovery in their standings.

In 2003 on average 49% of people said they trusted different professions on average to tell the truth a great deal or a fair amount. This fell to 42% in 2006 and 37% in 2007 but was 39% this August. The two point rise is not statistically significant …

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YouGov versus Lib Dem Voice surveys: how do they compare?

As Stephen mentioned earlier in conference, we’ve done a little experiment with the latest Lib Dem Voice survey of party members by asking exactly the same questions as were very recently asked of party members in a YouGov survey. It turns out that the answers from our two different approaches are very similar:

As you may know, there is currently debate about whether or not the UK should replace its Trident nuclear weapons system. Current policy is to replace the Trident submarines with a new fleet of boats, and to replace the ballistic nuclear missiles they carry at a later

Posted in Polls and Voice polls | 5 Comments

Poll: Less than 1 in 10 party members support like-for-like Trident replacement

An opinion poll of over 500 Liberal Democrat party members carried out by YouGov for Greenpeace has found that 7% said they supported a like-for-like replacement of Trident.

The key question asked was:

As you may know, there is currently debate about whether or not the UK should replace its Trident nuclear weapons system. Current policy is to replace the Trident submarines with a new fleet of boats, and to replace the ballistic nuclear missiles they carry at a later date. Which of the following options would you favour most?

Replace Trident with a broadly comparable system: 7%
Replace Trident with a cheaper system:

Posted in News and Polls | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Majority think Coulson should be sacked, police should re-open investigation

A YouGov poll commissioned by The Sun and carried out over Monday / Tuesday finds:

The editor of the News of the World at the time, Andy Coulson, denied knowledge of the phone tapping operation, but accepted the “ultimate responsibility” as editor and resigned. He has since taken a job as David Cameron’s Director of Communications. There have recently been allegations from former employees of the News of the World that phone tapping was more widespread at the News of the World and that Andy Coulson was personally aware of the tapping. Mr Coulson has denied allegations that he was

Posted in News and Polls | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

87% back Lib Dem Lynne’s rogue wheel clamping clamp-down

Lib Dem Voice reported earlier this week the news that Lynne Featherstone had secured government support for a new policy to ban wheel clamping and towing away of vehicles on private property, bringing England and Wales in line with Scotland.

YouGov asked the following question directly of members of the public:

The government have announced they intend to ban wheel clamping on private land. Under their plans only
the police and local councils would have the right to use wheel clamps or tow cars away. Would you support or oppose a ban on private wheel clamping firms?

The result? 87% supported the …

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Pollwatch – State of the parties (summer 2010): Reasons to keep calm and carry on

There have been a rather astonishing 36 opinion polls in the six weeks since LDV’s last polls round-up at the beginning of July. Thirty of those 36 originate from just one polling company, YouGov.

So let’s bring you up-to-date with July and August’s polls in chronological order of publication:

    Con 40, Lab 36, Lib Dem 16 (YouGov, 4-5 Jul)
    Con 41, Lab 36, Lib Dem 15 (YouGov, 5-6 Jul)
    Con 40, Lab 36, Lib Dem 17 (YouGov, 6-7 Jul)
    Con 42, Lab 35, Lib Dem 16 (YouGov, 7-8 Jul)
    Con 42, Lab 34, Lib Dem 17 (YouGov, 8-9 Jul)
    Con 42, Lab 35, Lib Dem

Posted in Op-eds and Polls | Also tagged , and | 18 Comments

Is the Coalition Government’s honeymoon really over?

Forget the Lib Dems’ current poll-ratings for a moment – though today’s 19% from ICM will have done a fair amount to repair nerves frayed by YouGov’s poorer recent scores – and let’s focus on the Coalition Government as a whole.

Last week, YouGov’s Peter Kellner stated categorically: The honeymoon is over. His logic was simple enough:

Over the past four weeks, the coalition’s approval rating has slipped slowly but remorselessly. Our latest figures report a net rating of plus four (approve 41%, disapprove 37%). In just over two months, the coalition’s rating has declined to levels that were not

Posted in News, Op-eds and Polls | Also tagged , , and | 39 Comments

The AV referendum: some initial public opinion findings

From YouGov comes the news:

1) The principle of having a referendum on AV is popular with the support of 69% of the public.

2) Latest voting intentions in the AV referendum are 45% in support of AV, 32% in support of FPTP. 6% would not vote and 17% don’t know how they would vote.

3) However, support for AV is soft. We experimented by presenting people with six arguments in favour of AV, and six arguments against AV and then asking how they would vote in a referendum. This resulted in a significant drop in support for AV to 33% and a

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More party I.D. figures

A quick follow-up to my post with YouGov’s party I.D. figures as I’ve now got ComRes’s equivalent figures, these taken from its penultimate election poll:

Party I.D.
Labour 32.5% (YouGov), 39% (ComRes)
Conservatives 28.5% (YouGov), 35% (ComRes)
Lib Dem 12% (YouGov), 17% (ComRes)

Measuring underlying party I.D, as opposed to current voting intention, is a notoriously difficult process as people’s general political views expressed to pollsters often move closely in step with their voting intention. Therefore the differences in numbers for each party between the two pollsters are not too surprising and it is more significant that the pattern is

Posted in News and Polls | Also tagged | 5 Comments

How many people identify with each party?

Interesting figures from YouGov, who have updated their “party I.D.” figures, that is the proportion of people who say they are a supporter of a particular party as opposed to what their current voting intention is (e.g. they may be a Labour support but have a current voting intention of Green):

Labour 32.5%
Conservative 28.5%
Liberal Democrat 12%
Other 3%
Don’t know 24%

Posted in Polls | 8 Comments

PollWatch: views of the coalition government and party leaders

Two polls have been published this week offering some early sense of public perceptions of the Lib Dem / Conservative coalition government, and how they rate the party leaders.

Public views of the coalition government

Angus Reid discovered that, overall, 58% of the public strongly/moderately approve of the coalition, while 31% strongly/moderately disapprove – that’s a net +27% approval rating. Approval is, as you might expect, stronger in the south of England (+41%), weaker in the north of England (+14%) and marginally negative in Scotland (-2%).

This breaks down in party support as follows:

  • Conservative voters: 84% approve, 11% disapprove (net approval:

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The YouGov poll which shows Nick Clegg won the third TV debate

An interesting snippet from today’s Sunday Times reporting the latest YouGov tracker poll conducted on Friday and Saturday among nearly 1,500 voters showed that “Nick Clegg narrowly won the debate overall”.

You won’t find the figures in the paper’s report (and I can’t find them on the YouGov site) but the Times’s Samuel Coates reports that Clegg was judged to have most impressed by 35% of voters, compared with 32% for David Cameron.

Separately the paper also reports that Clegg continues to enjoy high personal popularity ratings:

A YouGov poll of nearly 1,500 people shows that the Liberal Democrat’s

Posted in Polls | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

Well fancy that! Two other poll results The Sun paid for but didn’t report

There’s this:

All the main parties have promised to cut the government’s deficit after the election. Which party do you think is being the most honest about what spending cuts they would make to deliver this?

Liberal Democrats 29%
Conservatives 26%
Labour 21%

… and then there’s this:

Gordon Brown was challenged on Wednesday morning by Gillian Duffy, a 65-year-old voter in Rochdale. Mrs Duffy complained about taxation for pensioners, immigration from eastern Europe and students’ tuition fees. At the end of the televised encounter, Mr Brown told her ‘it was very nice to meet you’. But when he got into his car, Mr

Posted in Polls | Also tagged , and | 14 Comments

The problem for Labour and the Tories in attacking Lib Dem policies…

From today’s YouGov poll in the Sunday Times (one of the questions which I don’t think was reported in the paper, though I’ve not seen a hard copy):

The other parties have been targeting Liberal Democrat policies in recent days. What is your view of this?

It shows the parties are doing their job – the Liberal Democrats need to be scrutinised: 34%
It shows the other parties are rattled: 53%

This one also looks to have been unreported:

Newspapers have questioned Nick Clegg’s personal financial dealings. What is your view on the basis of what you know about this?

He has serious questions to …

Posted in General Election and Polls | Also tagged | 5 Comments

YouGov admit debate polling started whilst Nick Clegg was still speaking

YouGov have come in for a fair amount of flack online following last night’s instant debate poll for The Sun. Some of the criticism has been wrong or misplaced. Yes, one of their senior figures has Labour roots. But then one has Conservative roots  and other staff support the Liberal Democrats. They’ve even done polling for the Lib Dems in the past.

But – and it’s an important but – that was not the whole story. In amongst all the chaff were claims that YouGov’s polling started before the debate had actually finished and that it was collecting people’s verdicts on …

Posted in Polls | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

YouGov ‘push-polling’ mystery deepens

Earlier today Lib Dem Voice published a post asking the question, Are YouGov and Murdoch ‘push-polling’ for the Tories? This followed internet reports that the online pollster had been posing deliberately leading questions designed not simply to test public opinion, but to lead it.

Liberal Conspiracy picked up the story and put the question direct to Peter Kellner of YouGov, whose elliptical reply stated:

As with all agencies, we ask all kinds of questions for all kinds of clients; some public, some private. For purposes of testing theories, messages or policies we will often test statements phrased one way

Posted in General Election and Polls | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

Are YouGov and Murdoch ‘push-polling’ for the Tories?

‘Push-polls’, for those unfamiliar with the term, are a political campaigning technique “in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll” (Wikipedia).*

And it looks like Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper someone [EDIT 20/4/2010 – see Update below) has been paying internet polling firm YouGov to undertake some ‘push-polling’ against the Lib Dems, following the surge in support for Nick Clegg’s party after last week’s televised debate.

Former British ambassador Craig Murray spotted the following comment on the PoliticalBetting.com website, and noticed its significance:


Posted in General Election and Polls | Also tagged , , and | 11 Comments

YouGov puts Lib Dems second, all three parties within margin of error

Time to say, “Oh sod it” to the usual rule on The Voice of not reporting individual polls on headline voting intentions:

Conservative: 33%
Liberal Democrat: 30%
Labour: 28%
Others: 9%

Fieldwork: 15-16 April.

The last time the party was this high in the polls was after Sarah Teather’s victory in the Brent East by-election, when YouGov made it C32, L31, LD30 and ICM had all three parties tied on 31%.

The next round of phone calls between party press officers and the media could be quite fun. What was that about giving the third-placed party less media coverage?

Of course, in the past poll surges have …

Posted in General Election and Polls | Also tagged and | 20 Comments

Well fancy that! Another unreported poll finding

Continuing my occasional series of opinion poll results that newspapers have paid for but then not published (all for reasons of space you understand, nothing to do with editorial lines and not liking the result, oh no of course not) we have the latest YouGov poll for The Sun:

Do you think the following will or will not happen if the Conservatives win the coming election?

The number of crimes committed each year will fall: 22% will, 47% will not – net -25%
The quality of education in state schools will improve: 25% will, 46% will not – net -21%
Britain’s economy will …

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Opinion: Attack YouGov if you want to – but at least say who you are

Last week’s Daily Telegraph article attacking YouGov’s polling raises some disturbing issues about the quality of political debate as we fast approach the general election.

Firstly, the article’s authors seem to have no understanding about how polls should be conducted. They complain that the raw data in one large aggregated survey “were…‘weighted’ using an undisclosed YouGov formula which reduced the lead to sex per cent .” But all reputable pollsters know that their sample will not usually be representative of the population, for example by having too few women or too many Guardian

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An email to the editor of the Daily Telegraph

I’m rather puzzled by the story that your paper has run questioning the use of weighting in YouGov’s polls (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/election-2010/7546322/YouGov-pollster-gives-Labour-an-unfair-advantage.html).

Indeed, the piece takes such a suspicious attitude towards weighting that it puts the word in inverted commas and talks about YouGov having “admitted” that it uses weightings.

My puzzlement is quite simple.

Every single political opinion poll published by The Telegraph during your time as editor has also involved weighting.

If it’s such a questionable act, why hasn’t your newspaper shopped itself first? And will you be abandoning your own practice of publishing weighted figures?



Note: I do think there are some reasonable

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Were there two YouGov polls for the Sunday Times?

I only ask, you see, because in the newspaper online I read of the unions:

Their intransigence is beginning to hurt the government’s standing, as the YouGov/Sunday Times poll shows today.

But in the full polling tables up on the The Times website I read:

Will the strikes, and the prospects of disruption for BA’s passengers, change the way you vote in the election?

Yes, it will make me less likely to vote Labour: 4%
Yes, it will make me more likely to vote Labour: 1%
No difference: 80%
Don’t know: 15%

That’s about as tepid a finding as you could get: a measly net +3%.

A …

Posted in Polls | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

No panic here, nothing to see, move along

Two different stories today, unconnected in one way but both – particularly when put together – speaking volumes for the current state of the Conservative Party. Obviously, panic or disagreements are in no way involved. Not at all.

First we have ConservativeHome’s take on the party starting to use YouGov in addition to Populus:

Up until now now the Cameron team has had only Populus telling them what the outside world was thinking. The intelligence from Populus was brought to them by the same team who run operations in the party’s marginal seats. In other words our marginal seats operation wasn’t

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Poll ups pressure on Cameron over TV debates

I pointed out before that the key to getting a boost in support out of TV leader debates isn’t so much winning the debate as beating expectations: if people expected you to do dreadfully and you come out doing ok that’s almost always a boost to a campaign, whilst being seen as doing ok when the expectations were that you would walk it means you lose support.

So the pressure really is on David Cameron as he’s the one going in to the debates with highest expectations on him according to the latest MORI opinion poll:

Which leader do you

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What will the impact be of MPs’ expenses on turnout?

From one of the latest YouGov polls:

Does the expenses scandal…
Makes me more likely to vote at the coming election, to express my anger at the way some politicians have behaved 14%<
Makes me more likely NOT to vote, because politicians are much the same, and I don’t trust any of them any longer 12%
Net: +2%

Make no difference, I will vote anyway 64%
Make no difference, I will NOT vote anyway 5%
Don’t know 5%

The usual caveats apply that this is only one poll and also that people are often more likely to give what is seen as a socially acceptable answer than to …

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