In the previous post this blog referenced a big change in voter views captured by YouGov if there was an in-out referendum on EU membership.
The Better Off Out campaign has an invaluable post on its blog that highlights the findings of a poll watcher, Leo Barasi, who spotted that YouGov had changed the question structure of its polls and then claimed an “opinion change“. You can read Leo’s post and follow up on the Noise of the Crowd blog.
When writing my previous post, Peter Kellner’s political leanings were a consideration, but these were pushed aside as it felt unlikely that a seemingly reputable pollster like YouGov would be so unprincipled as to lead respondents in a particular direction. Now I’m not so sure. YouGov needs to explain why it changed the format and explain the poll sample is therefore not like for like.
What this underlines is the EUphile side is active and vocal vocal and trying to defeat the EUsceptics before they effectively counter the scare stories about withdrawal. We have seen this in the media in recent weeks with a flood of op-eds all pushing the ‘in’ line, and now we have interesting changes to the poll format by the company run by the husband of the EU’s unelected Foreign Affairs representative, Catherine Ashton.
The EUsceptics need to get in the game right now and challenge the spin and distortion that is worrying some voters who previously wanted the UK to withdraw. Then even if YouGov walks poll respondents down a path they can still say no because they are informed about how the UK can leave and protect its economic interests.