Murdoch press covers poll showing Labour fall. Ignores poll showing Labour ahead

The Times features a YouGov poll showing the Labour Party dropping three points in Westminster voting intention and the Tories rising by a single point:

The poll found that 39 per cent of people said they would vote Tory, up one point compared with last week when both parties were level. Labour dropped three points to 35 per cent. The Liberal Democrats are unchanged on 10 per cent. Ukip rise by one point to 7 per cent.

Sounds bad and many people would leap to the conclusion that the attacks by the Labour right and the Establishment have finally taken a toll on Labour’s electoral standing and public perception of its leader.

At the same time, an ICM poll paints a very different picture:


Interestingly, the ICM polling data was taken from the Friday of Corbyn’s Guardian article addressing antisemitism to the Sunday of Tom Watson’s vile article that he put out after threatening to step up his attacks if he didn’t get an improved slot at next month’s party conference – but shows little impact on Labour’s popularity and no impact on Labour’s lead.

YouGov’s, on the other hand, was taken from Wednesday to Thursday this week, when the furore was finally dying down – yet shows a big impact.


The Times and other MSM have largely ignored the ICM poll showing Labour still leading.

Commentator Peter Hitchens memorably pointed out that polling was about influencing public opinion rather than measuring it. Is this such an instance?

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  1. perhaps strong and stable will hold another election, we need accountability not the useless shower we have at the moment

  2. As soon as parliament broke for the holidays it’s been non stop full on attacks, hyperbole, and smears against Labour. I’d be surprised if it didn’t have an affect on people who see these headlines. I don’t think many really pay that much attention though. And unlikely people who don’t even like corbyn or Labour have said they can see through this bs. The Jewish papers coming out to falsely claim a corbyn government would be an existential threat was bloody insane though and I dont know what I’d make of it if I wasn’t involved in politics day to day and aware of stuff

    1. “And unlikely people who don’t even like corbyn or Labour have said they can see through this bs. ”

      – Sorry this was unclear and can be read a different way. You can probably delete ‘unlikely’, I meant ‘unlikely people’, not ‘it’s unlikely people who’.
      I meant ive seen people who don’t even like Corbyn or Labour, say they can see through the bs being reported in the media

  3. Unfortunately the ICM poll does look as if the ‘anti-semitism’ allegations have affected Labour. It’s more recent than the ICM poll. It’s normal for these changes to take a few days to feed through into public opinion. as people react to the news. The media barrage has been unceasing, especially from the Guardian. There’s a real need to turn that paper into the news itself, by exposing its incredible bias. “The newsroom is all anti-Corbyn” as the only person I know who worked for the paper says.

    Aren’t there any good investigative journalists out there? Can’t some do what new sites like this can’t: write long well analytical pieces which will expose exactly how they’ve twisted the news: endlessly headlining Margaret Hodge and Ian Austin and never giving the other side of the argument, endlessly attacking Peter Willsman and never allowing anyone to defend him, endlessly headlining attacks on Labour from parts of the Jewish community and never mentioning opposing views, setting an ex-Jewish Chronicle reporter, hardly a disinterested professional, to write continuous ‘Labour anti-semitism’ stories. One significant example. It took me ages to find the ‘Not In My Name’ protest from a large group of Jewish people, including some very eminent names, after the synchronised newspaper headlines. The Guardian never mentioned it.

    No,this is alas a sign of a real shift in opinion, spearheaded by one abominable newspaper. We need to fight back intelligently.

    1. Well said Andy.

      I love SkwawkB for its mix of sobriety and often hilarious and apposite impropriety (well said Toffee!).

      However, I reckon, when you put it all together, the SB is offering substantial and sustained analysis through a synthesis of viewpoints, that in its own way makes for a higher and more accessible standard than might be achieved by a single contributor to a MSM outlet.

      As to your frustration re finding the media outlets for “Not In My Name”, I’ve referenced one or two in the recent post on Hodge and Nick Brown – apologies if you know them all already.

      Media- Lens and Off – Guardian were created specifically in reaction to the “abominable” Guardian, but both have their limits. They both offer some of the best analysis on Syria that I have ever encountered, but the comments section for o-g feels like a small elite and is not for the faint hearted. Media Lens is great but has an achingly slow turnover of articles and is almost better seen as an archive

      So yes, you are right there is, in one sense, a dearth of alternatives. However, I would also argue that we already have some of the measured and intelligent new media outlets that you wish for. I just think we need to spread the news and promote them more.

    2. There are very few ‘journalists’ left now. Only lobbyists – for the city, for big business, for America, for Israel – whoever will pay them! No news any more just someone else’s agenda.

  4. I’ve got two words for the reliability of opinion polls…


    And ‘shite’.

    Anyone what believes – or even relies on – something that nadhim ‘honest mistake, guv’ zahawi made a killing off peddling, needs their head testing.

  5. If this bad poll is correct it shows that the MSM is succeeding in their intention of making Labour look weak and disorganised. They do not care about the jewish diaspora they are playing the long game and looking ahead to the next GE. We must not allow them to divide and conquer.

  6. There is a 3%+/- margin of error for all polling figures … Both ICM and Yougov polls show that Con and Lab are still neck and neck which is pretty remarkable given the MSM reporting.

    1. Yep. Take the two YouGov/Times polls taken three days apart last month, 16–17 Jul & 19–20 Jul. Over the 2 days LAB:CON changed from 41%: 36% (+5%) to 39%:38% (+1%). Almost certainly the difference is the margin of error in play, despite a largish 1660 sample size.

      Though you do wonder why The Times would commission another poll just 3 days later when usually it is weekly – perhaps they didn’t like the +5% of the first!

  7. Last year’s actual result according to BBC piece “Live” showed the result after 650/650 counts in to be 42.4/40.0. They even had to correct that.

    ICM’s final poll was the second-least accurate with 46/34 with BMG the least accurate at 46/33.

    Is it even possible that any of them have finally cracked the problems of people not telling them the truth, being unrepresentative by selection or changing their minds? Even exit polls get it wrong ffs.

    And that’s ignoring the obvious – partiality of polling organisations working to boost the Tories’ chances by putting them ahead – because a frightening number of people care most about being “proved right” by being on the winning side.

    From BBC “How wrong was the election polling?” here:


    1. There are many problems with polls at the moment. In the 70’s it was relatively reasonable to sample 1500 – 2000 carefully chosen people who fitted representative profiles because the electorate was fairly well divided between those profiles of class, politics, work role and education. Today it is nowhere near possible. The electorate has no clear dividing lines any more. As a simple example, all the polls use the A,B, C1, C2, E F class divisions that were invented for the 1950’s. The middle classes are defined as A and B, working classes C1, C2 and E and F as an underclass. What are the middle classes the middle of? If you have a graduate working in a call centre (and there are many) then they are the same class as a company director or a university professor and will presumably vote accordingly. It’s crazy. No-one wants to change the system because they depend on continuity of data across the years. There is no way you can represent 20-30 million people, across a huge geographical area, between town and city, work or unemployed, educated or self taught, religious or non religious, ethnic or other. Sex alone has five or six parameters where once there were two. With people living much longer now the age parameters have extended considerably. And then there are the political chasms that cross conventional political boundaries – Brexit, immigration, Europe, America. The task is virtually impossible now.

  8. The Polls at this time are meaningless , once we get closer to a general election then these polls may make people think.

    I hope when we have 18 month left and the electioneering start the right wing will decide to shut up and let labour try to win if they do not then god help

  9. Simply, remember a few months ago, when one poll showed a 5% Tory lead completely out of kilter with the rest (with a 1/2% tory lead or dead level) & which was subsequently quietly buried by the polling company as an outrider?

    Remember who produced that one?


  10. What the Labour critics conveniently forget when looking at Labour’s current polling is that New Labour lost 4% of its vote to the Socialist SNP. It makes me laugh when people like Blair say Corbyn is n’t doing well enough against an awful Tory Government whe he and his ilk lost the Party 4% of its vote. Prior to 2010 what we see today as a 1% Labour lead would a 5% one.

  11. I have been registered with yougov for several years now and i’m rarely asked a political question. But on one occasion a few months ago I replied to a survey that did ask political questions the results of which were shown on the news within hours of me completing it. The timeline i believe was impossable. Take them with a pinch of salt if you don’t allready.

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