Caught Out: YouGov changes question structure, then claims “opinion change”
With apparent news that there has been a “shift” in public opinion concerning UK membership to the EU, evidence has come to light that Peter Kellner’s YouGov changed the question structure of its polls and then claimed an “opinion change“.
Poll watcher Leo Barasi spotted it and wrote this:
Indeed, analysis of the most recent poll, which shows ‘stay in the EU’ ahead by 6pts, demonstrates that six questions were asked about Europe before it got to the referendum question.
The previous recent high for Europhiles, in December ’11, asked 13 Europe questions before the in/out question.
But the poll that showed ‘leave the EU’ the furthest ahead, in May ’12, didn’t ask any EU questions before it got to in/out.
Perhaps these other questions are affecting the result. The latest poll, for example, has several questions about renegotiating Britain’s terms of European membership – so respondents might be thinking of the in/out question in the context of revised terms. That could have prompted a few people to drift into the ‘stay’ camp.
The Better Off Out campaign would hope that, above all, polling companies remain consistent in their methodology and that they do not draw false comparisons. This would be misleading and irresponsible in a debate that is one of the most important and talked about issues of the day.
Better Off Out is a campaign run by The Freedom Association, a non-partisan pressure group dedicated to principles of freedom and national sovereignty. To keep up to date with the campaign, do follow us on Twitter @BetterOffOut.
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