18 more Tory ‘surveys’ that are much more. The SKWAWKBOX needs your help

As anticipated, last week’s article on the supposed ‘survey’ that appears to be a device to obtain voters’ data and persuade them to apply for a postal vote via the Tory party has flushed out another example. This one is being used at the other end of the country from the first, in Cornwall, but with striking similarities that suggest that we may be seeing the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of a widespread new Tory tactic as a variation on the already widely-used theme that aims to control the postal vote application process.

Voters in Truro Tregolls are receiving a ‘survey’ leaflet from their local Conservative party:



Again, the leaflet invites respondents to indicate that they want a postal vote – and provide a Freepost address to encourage people to apply via the Tory office rather than direct to the ERO (Electoral Registration Officer) as electoral rules require:

tregolls freepost.png

And again, the small print states that by responding, you are giving absolute control over your data to the Tory party for  an incredibly broad purpose – ‘to facilitate our operation as a political party’:

tregolls facilitate

But that’s not all the document reveals. On page one, an option is given to complete the survey online:

truro online

There is no ‘Tregolls’ option but there is a Truro option, so it looks like a composition error in the leaflet. But if you go to the ‘surveys’ site, this is what you will find:

cornwall surveys.jpg

Eighteen surveys across the whole county – and if there are online surveys, there are printed, posted surveys in those areas as well, pointing to the online survey.

The whole of Cornwall and a similar pseudo-survey in Wales, uncovered in just a couple of days. It would be amazing if these are the only areas in which this tactic is being used.

It’s fast becoming clear that the Tories really want to control voters’ postal-vote applications, as well as amass their data for essentially uncontrolled use by the party and its agents.

Why? The Electoral Commission’s rules about the handling of postal vote applications make clear that they exist to prevent the possible perception of vote fraud – are the Tories using these documents and the handling of postal vote applications to facilitate some method of electoral fraud?

The SKWAWKBOX needs your help to find out. We already have Cornwall and Llangollen on our map of pseudo-surveys. Here’s how you can help:

  • If you have received something similar where you live, put a note in the comments of this blog and we’ll contact you.
  • If you have received a survey and returned it with a request for a postal vote application, let the SKWAWKBOX know what was sent back to you in response – again, put a note in the comments and we’ll contact you for details.
  • If you have knowledge about the purpose of this whole ruse, you can contact this blog in absolute confidence.

Thanks for your help.

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  1. Brilliant work , well done , I assume the intention is to pass on this evidence to the authorities to prosecute if rules have been broken ?
    Or maybe Labour should try the same tactic and lets just see what happens , could be interesting dilemma for the biased anchorites !

  2. Great work there – I must confess I’ve not seen any literature yet and my corner of Cornwall is not covered in your list, at least not yet (St Ives constituency). I’ll keep an eye out and let you know if anything comes

  3. The Lib Dems used similar tactics in Newport West earlier in the year – the small print was so tiny you needed a magnifying glass to read it and the whole leaflet was dressed up to look like an official Labour Party leaflet (the Labour Group holds Newport Council). It was a supposedly independent questionnaire but if you looked hard enough you could se it came from the Lib Dems. – the leaflets were hand delivered to sheltered accommodation where old people are in the majority. There was no free post reply envelope though.

  4. We got one in East Devon. Planned to scrawl something not-at-all offensive on it and post it back.

  5. Add another North Bexhill had one throught our door last week. So East Sussex is getting the evil crud as well, E-mailed the commision as i was so hacked off.

    We have a large Labour sticker in the front window and are Card carrying supporters here! So this rubbish throught my mail box winds me up!

  6. If tories are using these leaflets as part of election campaign surely any expense incurred from post going to freepost address has to be accounted for. Would it be wrong to suggest that people bombard the freepost addresses so they exceed their election spend limit? Plus we’d be helping the tories to waste their money instead of the taxpayers for once

  7. The leaflet also asks for your voting intention. If you get a postal vote application to send back to Tories what will they do with it if they know you plan to vote against them?

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