October 29, 2009

YouGov enters election 'close' period

YouGov's official response to the unsuccessful attempt by a party to influence the outcome of our polls

YouGov enters election 'close' period

There have been reports in parts of the blogosphere that certain YouGov members have been attempting to recruit BNP members to the YouGov panel, in order to influence the results of polls and generate revenue for the BNP. Here is YouGov’s response to these reports.

YouGov actively recruits the majority of our panel using a variety of techniques, although self-signup and referrals from other members are also possible. We constantly monitor the profile of new panel members, and track differences in survey results, to ensure that our panel is representative, and to protect the quality and integrity of our data. Moreover, YouGov’s sampling methods ensure that new members who sign themselves up cannot have a statistically significant impact on any YouGov polling results.

As a further test, YouGov has examined the results of the survey conducted after BBC Question Time poll. The survey, of 1314 electors, included 156 who had joined our panel since May 2009. This covers the period when, it is claimed, BNP bloggers advised party members to join our panel. Of these 156, just one respondent said they would vote BNP in a general election. Any attempts to infiltrate YouGov's panel with the aim of increasing the BNP's reported support have plainly failed. We are not surprised: the number and characteristics of people joining the panel since May have been no different from normal.

Nevertheless, to put the issue beyond doubt, and in line with our practice at the last general election, we had already started a "close" period, during which no new self-signups or member referrals to YouGov will be invited to take part in political polls. This "close" period started on September 1 and will last until after the election.

Any panel member who acts, or entices others to act, in a way that seeks to distort our data violates our rules. We apply various techniques to detect such actions and remove offenders from our panel. In practice the impact of this is statistically insignificant; but we consider it vital to take all possible steps to protect the quality and integrity of our data, and so maintain our record as Britain's most accurate survey research agency.

Peter Kellner


WA said...

"Any attempts to infiltrate YouGov's panel with the aim of increasing the BNP's reported support have plainly failed."

So those 25 who claimed to have signed up via the BNP's con trick have either lied or filled in nothing. What a hopeless bunch they are.

UK Fightback said...

You Gov's response to the BNP rigging their polls is a complete cop-out for 2 reasons. Firstly You Gov's response presumes that BNP members have only been rigging You Gov polls since advice about doing so was made public on the BNP website. The BNP website administraor who advised BNP members to participate in this fraud admitted they had been signed-up with You Gov for some time, already earning £50 in fees from You Gov, and being " very close to receiving my second cheque", so other BNP supporters may equally have also been doing this for some time.

You Gov talk about (quote) "one" respondent saying they would vote BNP, but "British Patriot" (the administrator of the BNP website) comments that (quote) "the referral link is now raising about £50 a FORTNIGHT, so god knows what 617 members of this group have raised together". I'll say that again - 617 !!

Secondly You Gov insist any influence the BNP may have had cannot have been "statistically significant", while conveniently failing to mention what parameters of significance (or, to use the statistical terminology, "degrees of freedom") they choose to apply. Either way, the fact that the BNP have been attempting to rig You Gov polls at all should still be national news!

Anonymous said...

So the BNP have even been lying about the amount of fraud they've carried out??? The mind boggles.

Anonymous said...

BNP activist charged with explosives and firearms offences