Friday 15 May 2009

The Sun Manipulates a Poll

Some interesting polling data has just been released on the UK Polling Report blog. It's best to let the results of this YouGov poll for our friends at The Sun speak for themselves:
Moving to the European voting intentions, the topline figures with changes from before the expenses expose began are CON 28%(-9), LAB 19%(-3), UKIP 19%(+12!) - the Sun report does not provide the Liberal Democrat or Green figures, but the BNP remain at 4%, unchanged from a week ago. It appears that UKIP - despite their MEPs own problems with fraud and expenses, have been the overwhelming victors from the expenses row.
Interesting figures I'm sure everyone will agree.

But while the poll is suggestive of the anti-politics mood, it is perhaps telling
The Sun chooses only to highlight the surge in support for UKIP, the anti-EU vehicle of choice for the populist right. In total their reporting describes 70% of voting intentions, leaving a massive 30% going unsaid. Given how UK Polling's analysis is at pains to show how Labour and Conservatives have taken a hit thanks to the MPs' expenses scandal, one assumes the LibDems are not the overwhelming beneficiaries of the remaining percentage.

I'm not daft enough to think
The Sun are covering up a surge for No2EU or one of the other minor platforms standing in this election. But they could well be sitting on a significant turn to the Green Party. Why they choose to give UKIP the lion's share of the publicity is obvious: Murdoch and Wade would rather a party in line with the paper's populist politics pick up the protest vote than a centre left party. Maybe they think ignoring the Greens will see support for them melt away?


Gawain Towler said...

Whilst it is odd that the Greens have been kept out at this point, I am sure that they will be in the YouGov data. It will be interesting to see how they and the Lib/Dems are faring in the Euro polling.

There again as A UKIP type myself I am obviously pleased, but maybe a little perplexed by the figures. We are getting very good feedback, that is true but the possibility that this is a rogue poll is pretty likely.

However we can probably both be pleased that it isn't the BNP that are picking up in the light of all the scandals.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I must confess, I'm a pro-Europe kind of guy and have an aversion to one policy parties.

But I have an even greater aversion to the Scum.

Phil, are you aware of the Sun Tabloid Lies blog?

If not, you'll find it in my profile as a blog I wirte for.

Vindico said...

Well the fact that Labour and Tories are shown to be down 12points between them and UKIP up 12 points rather suggests the vote has moved to UKIP rather than other parties such as the Greens.

Perhaps that is fair justification for reporting it as they have?

Eddie Truman said...

Phil, as one of those vocal on conspiracy theories you are in danger of making yourself look foolish.
Have you considered the possibility that the anti EU vote may indeed be heading towards UKIP and that the evil Murdoch has no need to order his henchmen on the Sun to focus on them ?
The last YouGov poll for the Sunday Times had UKIP on 7%, the BNP on 4%.
And I have to say your conversion to electoral cretinism over the past months is extremely alarming for someone who up until now has been more revolutionary than thou.
Yestersday on Socialist Unity you were proposing that people publicise the BNP's position on the Gurkhas as a way of discrediting them ffs.
What on earth is going on in the Socialist Party that it has come to this ?

Phil said...

Vindico, it's hard to say without the rest of the poll being published. It is a fallacy to assume that just because two parties are down a number of points and a third's support has increased by the same number that's all there is to the story. I doubt the Greens will have increased by a massively dramatic amount, but nevertheless it could be a significant increase.

Eddie - it's a bit early in the morning to start on the stupid pills don't you think?

1) Who are you talking about? More revolutionary than thou? Electoral cretinism? Sure you're on the right blog?

2) You mean to say you're opposed to the settling of Gurkhas here? Because you seem to think everything I write is SP policy, are we to assume your unhinged interventions on Socialist Unity absolutely reflect the settled will of the SSP?

3) Don't know if you've been following the news Eddie, but the EU isn't particularly high up on the agenda at the moment. Assuming this provenance of this poll one would suggest UKIP are benefiting from the anti-politics rather than the anti-EU mood.

Phil said...

Yes Daniel, I regularly pop over to The Sun Lies. It's great work you and your comrades and colleagues are involved in.

Rabelais said...

Does anybody else get the feeling that public opinion is being played here like a fiddle by a right-wing press that probably has it's own agenda, and one that has nothing to do with improving the UK's democracy or political process.

I think you are right Phil to be suspicious of the Sun's motives but I think we all should be asking ourselves who stands to profit from the Daily Telegraph's slow striptease of the UK's political process.

I'm not seeking to defend unscrupulous MPs but the recent revelations it seems have little to do with cropping a few bad apples and everything to do with bring the entire democratic and parliamentary process into disrepute. Who stands to gain from that? Not a disorganised and fractious left.

The Sun's selective polling suggest that there is a section of the well-healed who'd be happy to see shysters like the UKIP profit from the fall out, or some other right-wing agenda.

The sort of anti-political mood in the country at the moment will play into the hands of the right, and not necessarily Cameron's cuddly-conservatism.

As someone put it elsewhere: 'The rich and powerful, reeling from the credit crunch, presumably want a weak parliamentary democracy, so that anger against capitalists and financiers can be turned against democracy itself. It's dangerous. In some respects it's redolent of a kind of fascism.'

Anonymous said...

This article explains what The Sun have done to come up with such odd figures:

Jon said...

Did it not occur to you to head over to YouGov's website and get the polling data from there? A summary of the results is here with the full data here.

Amongst those certain to vote the results are:

Con: 28%
Lab: 19%
Lib Dem 19%
UKIP: 19%
Green 6%
BNP 3%
Other 1%

So a slight boost to the Greens, but nothing earth shattering. As a new party, no2eu are not included in the survey, and presumably come under 'other'.

Phil said...

It did Jon. When I posted this last night I couldn't find the figures on YouGov's site.

Jon said...

Fair enough, Phil.

The regional results are interesting, although unfortunately YouGov does not mirror the actual electoral regions. Biggest BNP threat is 6% in 'Midlands/Wales'. The SNP romp home with 40% in Scotland, SSP on 1%. In the 'North' the BNP have 3% vs. 6% for the Greens. Labour is in third place in 'London' and fourth place in the 'South'.

Eddie Truman said...

"Don't know if you've been following the news Eddie, but the EU isn't particularly high up on the agenda at the moment."
Now that had me laughing like a drain.
So then Phil, what the hell are you doing wasting your time promoting a short term electoral alliance that is entirely focused on the EU ?

Charlie Marks said...

Please, UKIP aren't populist - beyond EU withdrawal their agenda isn't all that popular.

And Eddie - it's an election to the EU parliament, what else can the alliance be focused on? Of course Phil and co are trying to raise the issues of EU implication in pushing neoliberal policies, etc.

lenin said...

I was going to point out that the figures are actually wrong, but I see Jon has already done that. However, I will point out that the EU was sort of an issue in the whole BJ4BW stuff, and it does come up in discussions about immigration and jobs more generally.

And, of course, if the EU wasn't a prominent focus of the argument over the recession and who pays for it, then Eddie is right to wonder why on earth you would want to participate in an electoral coalition that makes the EU its number one focus, and that argues for immigration controls as a response to job losses. Oh, and that slogan "'s a black and white issue" isn't exactly reassuring. Dog-whistling or just an inside joke?

Jon said...

Dog-whistling or just an inside joke?Oh come off it. Not even the most idiotic racist fuckwits see the EU as a 'black' thing.

I attended a no2eu meeting yesterday and it was made quite clear that the RMT consider EU legislation to be responsible for the privatisation of British Rail and the part-privatisation of London Underground, and that it's the main obstacle to those entities being fully re-nationalised. It's pretty obvious why the RMT considers the EU an important issue.