Saturday, 22 October 2011

Express misleads on EU poll results

The front page of Saturday's Daily Express claims:

'75% say: 'Quit the EU now''. That's the way the Express has summarised a poll conducted by YouGov.

But the article by Alison Little makes clear this isn't what the poll really shows. Indeed, her first sentence says:

An overwhelming 75 per cent of Britons would vote in a referendum to quit the EU or renegotiate the terms.

The 'or renegotiate the terms' bit is important because, as the Express reveals five paragraphs from the end, if a referendum included three options about the UK's relationship with Europe:

15 per cent would vote for the status quo, 28 per cent would vote to leave the EU and 47 per cent would vote to renegotiate membership terms. 

So the '75%' saying 'quit now' actually includes 47% who don't actually want to quit if renegotiation is an option.  

The poll was conducted by YouGov for the campaign group Vote UK out of EU and their press release on these results makes clear that:

75% of those surveyed would vote to change the current relationship between the UK and the EU.

'Change the current relationship'. Not 'quit now'.

What if the referendum gave a more straightforward 'in or out' choice? The Express states:

Given a choice to stay in or get out – without the option to renegotiate – 52 per cent would quit, 31 per cent would stay in, while the rest are “don’t knows”.

According to this poll, if it's in or out, 52% say quit. If it's in, out or renegotiate, 28% say quit.

So why has the Express claimed '75% say quit now' in the headline?


  1. "So why has the Express claimed '75% say quit now' in the headline?"

    Because they're full of shit? Just a guess...

  2. I see the article try's to big up the 'Vote UK Out Of EU campaign,' and it's chief executive Jon Gaunt, the Sun journalist and shock jock who was censored for calling a councillor a Nazi.

    The campaign's website brings together all the collective scribblings of the anti EU brigade.

  3. Intersting that they group the 'quit' and 'negotiate' together.
    If 'stay' and 'negotiate' are grouped together you get 62%. Which is maybe more sensible, as both involve staying.
    So, you could reasonably say that nearly two thirds of people are happy to stay in the EU, but most would like to renegotiate the terms.

  4. Reminds me of the story a while ago about a survey conducted to find out if people would be willing to pay for the amount of refuse they generate, the so called 'pay-as-you-throw' scheme. The survey results were hailed as proof that most people were keen on the idea. But the actual question was "If it saved you money, would you support a pay-as-you-throw scheme?".
    Now, who would say no to that?

  5. Still curious as to why exactly the English Express calls this a Crusade, yet the Scottish Express calls it a Campaign.

    Can anyone fathom this one? Is it just another strange continuity error in the Expresses mindset, much like the whole daylight robbery/victory oddity?


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Comments are moderated - generally to filter out spam and comments wishing death on people - but other messages will be approved as quickly as possible.