Why did YouGov change its EU opinion poll question format?

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.

9 Responses to “Why did YouGov change its EU opinion poll question format?”

  1. 1 Clarence 22/01/2013 at 12:15 pm

    This is spot on and relevant, despite being five years old:


    “Opinion polls are not used to reflect opinion but to influence it.”

  2. 2 permex 22/01/2013 at 1:20 pm

    Reading your last post on this crucial subject it is clear that we sceptics have no big guns (as yetg) but………..unless ALL , All of the many sceptic groups get their act together and WORK TOGETHER we are on a good hiding to nothing.

  3. 3 cosmic 22/01/2013 at 2:32 pm

    I’d say that opinion polls were much like pop charts, assumed to reflect opinion, but offering huge scope to manipulate it.

  4. 4 Maurice Lupton 22/01/2013 at 4:41 pm

    It is so obvious that because of to whom Peter Kelner is married , Baroness Ashton the EU foreign Minister, that it is very much biased.

  5. 5 c777 23/01/2013 at 10:09 am

    Kellner has form on this.
    I know its not directly related but he carried out bent surveys for ASH of which he …………
    “Kellner is chairman of the “editorial board of scientific and medical experts” that produced the latest ASH report, Beyond Smoking Kills”.
    H/T Taking liberties.
    Now we see he has links to the EU.
    I would not trust anything this big state progressive ,says,does,or writes, he has an agenda , same as all of them.

  6. 7 Robert 23/01/2013 at 10:11 pm

    I am shocked by your accusation that the You Gov polls are rigged. The next thing you will be saying is that our postal voting system has been corrupted to the advantage of the Labour Party. It is just as well that nice Mr Clegg has foiled the Conservative Party attempt to rig the proposed boundary changes in this parliament otherwise Cameron may have more seats than he deserves.

  7. 8 john 24/01/2013 at 7:57 pm


  1. 1 EU withdrawal – what’s the state of play? | Orphans of Liberty Trackback on 09/05/2013 at 4:53 pm
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