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One of the curious features of polling for the next UK general elections is YouGov's performance in always calling the result a tie between the Conservatives and Labour.

Their poll for 29/30th. of April had them tied on 29% apiece.
On 8/9th,. May it was 24% apiece
On 13/14th. May it was 25% apiece
On 28/29th. May it was 19% apiece with the added stinger that the Lib Dems on 24% and Brexit Party on 22% were actually ahead of both.

What are the chances of this happening by random chance?

Meanwhile all other polling firms had Labour up to 10% ahead. It is almost as if YouGov are contractually obliged never to show Labour ahead, no matter how badly the Conservatives are doing in all other polling.

In polling for the European Parliament elections, on the other hand, YouGov consistently has the Brexit party doing significantly better than other pollsters and the actual election results.

In Remain/Leave polling, it generally has the Remain lead at 4/5% - less than most other pollsters.

What gives? Methinks they need to re-check their sampling methodology or the filters they apply to thir raw data results...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jun 1st, 2019 at 11:20:23 AM EST
Their sampling methodology is that of a web-poll:

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Then just fill in your data. Maybe you are a young black man in London? Maybe you are an old white woman in the countryside? Why not both?

Then of course there is the matter of what data they present and to whom:

Nigel Farage, the global face of the Brexit campaign, had given Sky what sounded like a concession. His photo and a statement filled the screen, as Faisal Islam, Sky's political editor, read Farage's words aloud: "It's been an extraordinary referendum campaign, turnout looks to be exceptionally high and [it] looks like Remain will edge it. UKIP and I are going nowhere and the party will only continue to grow stronger in the future."

In the next segment, Boulton delivered another exclusive. Joe Twyman, head of political research for YouGov, one of the U.K.'s most prominent polling firms, appeared on set with the results of an online exit poll conducted for Sky. He explained that the firm had been tracking the same voters--and they had moved farther into the Remain camp that day. Based on that, Twyman said, "We now expect that the United Kingdom will remain part of the European Union. It's 52 percent Remain, 48 percent Leave, so it's still close and it's still too early to know definitely--but, based on the figures that we're seeing, based on the trends that have occurred, and based on historical precedent--we think that Remain are in the strongest position." As in past elections, Twyman added, voters had embraced the status quo on Election Day.


Behind the scenes, a small group of people had a secret--and billions of dollars were at stake. Hedge funds aiming to win big from trades that day had hired YouGov and at least five other polling companies, including Farage's favorite pollster. Their services, on the day and in the days leading up to the vote, varied, but pollsters sold hedge funds critical, advance information, including data that would have been illegal for them to give the public. Some hedge funds gained confidence, through private exit polls, that most Britons had voted to leave the EU, or that the vote was far closer than the public believed--knowledge pollsters provided while voting was still underway and hours ahead of official tallies. These hedge funds were in the perfect position to earn fortunes by short selling the British pound. Others learned the likely outcome of public, potentially market-moving polls before they were published, offering surefire trades.

From selling data on the side to betters, I would say it is a short jump to sell pre-packaged answers. Absent leaks, it is not like anyone can check.

by fjallstrom on Sat Jun 1st, 2019 at 01:55:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A long time ago I saw a comedy programme based on a market research agency. Having arrived at some conclusions based on vary expensive qualitative & quantitative research they discovered that the office secretary had opinions identical to the conclusions of the study. Thereafter they just asked her her opinions and dispensed with the research...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jun 1st, 2019 at 11:15:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just as Yes Minister and even Black Mirror seem to be coming true, I'm sure that is how some of them do it.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 2nd, 2019 at 02:53:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect that YouGove have become the Rasmussen of UK politics; selling a comforting notion of conservative hegemony to the right wing and hoping to bootstrap a genuine conservative tide off the back of it.

However, unlike the US, there is a party to the right of the Tories and Sky are just as eager to boost their chances as that of the Establishment party.

Sky may be a Murdoch vehicle but it doesn't have anything like the reach or credibility of Fox in the UK political media landscape.

If you want to follow a reliable indicator, most of the press seem to use Survation these days, who nailed the last couple of elections. Accuracy counts more than propaganda somehow

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 2nd, 2019 at 02:50:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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