Analysis Breaking News

Breaking: former YouGov employee says company withheld poll showing Corbyn won 2017 GE debate after pressure from Tories

Government ministers threatened to demand boss’s resignation if company went ahead with polls showing Corbyn’s 2017 surge

Polling firm YouGov withheld and skewed information during the 2017 general election campaign because it was ‘too positive’ for Labour, according to one of the company’s former key employees.

Chris Curtis, now head of political polling at Opinium, has published a long Twitter thread in which he details how the firm:

  • banned staff from publishing polling showing Corbyn won a televised political debate with Theresa May because it was ‘too positive about Labour’
  • presented polling showing Labour’s now-famous (despite the attempts of the Labour right and their media allies to rewrite history) ‘Corbyn surge’ as coming from a ‘new experimental methodology’ so that it could be dismissed, even though their standard polling showed similar results
  • caved in to threats from Tory minister and YouGov co-founder Nadhim Zahawi to remove the company’s chief executive – and shut down the company, costing the rest of the staff their jobs – if it published polling that was good for Labour and it turned out to be wrong
  • changed its methodology to favour the Tories after ‘pressure from high-ups’
Nadhim Zahawi’s panicked threat after polls showed Corbyn constantly closing on May
A quote of Tory election campaign manager Linton Crosby saying he was going to put YouGov out of business

Despite the Establishment’s frantic attempts to keep the surge hidden, Corbyn came within a few thousand votes of beating the Tories in 2017. Many believe that without Establishment disinformation (and sabotage by right-wing Labour staffers) Labour would have won that election five years ago today – and would have won despite it had the campaign lasted just a week or two longer.

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  1. YouGov are captured and paid off government collaborators. If we’d had a Corbyn government they would have melted away, hence the criminal behaviour done as a desperate lurch for self-survival. Sadly it has taken years to emerge. Well done that whistleblower nevertheless.

    1. They feared socialism. The kind that helps all instead of just the losses shared out currently

  2. Right winger sabotage is why I DESPISE Labour now. Leaking my membership data and then ignoring my Subject Access Request was the cherry on top. Vote for these f***ers? Are you s***ing me? At the next GE I will be going to the nearest marginal seat (Rosie Duffield’s) and campaigning to get Labour out, delivering thousands of leaflets, just like I did for Corbyn.

    1. Dave – But has your data actually been leaked, as in the hackers having access to unencrypted sensitive data about you?
      My understanding is that this data breach was in fact a typical ransom attack where the object is not to access the data itself but to make it inaccessible to the ‘victim’ (usually by encrypting the data) and then demanding a ransom payment to unencrypt and release the data back to the victim.

    2. Given Labour employs a man who played a leading role in Israel’s highly sophisticated cyber warfare division- you only have to read about the ongoing Pegasus spyware scandal – sophisticated Israeli malware that was used to spy on European leaders, unbeknown to their own intelligence agencies!!! And given Labour’s exaggerated antisemitism problem – it made news around the world including in Israel.

      Labour members are being perfectly rational in wondering what the hell has been going on with their personal data.

      Do you believe the LP are being honest. when they dishonest about nearly everything else?

      1. Allan – I suggest you re-read my comment. I did not say that Labour members shouldn’t be concerned about the safety of their data, I simply pointed out that that in this particular instance there doesn’t appear to be much to be concerned about. Do you have any credible evidence to the contrary.

      2. No I’m not saying it’s happened. I don’t know?

        But given the way some in the leadership talk about members; as if the membership are some infestation plaguing the party, an infestation that the party needs to vet(filter) and purge. The idea the members’ data(past and present) is somewhere being trawled through – possibly in a certain other country with better analytical resources – remember Labour had 580k members at one point (the resources requited to trawl networks would require a lot of computing power and corporate access).

        I’m not making an accusation that’s happened, merely pointing out that it wouldn’t surprise, given the sinister nature of some of the officials in the party, look at the vicious behaviour in the leaked report.

      3. Andy – Or to put it succinctly you are now admitting that your comment at 4:16pm amounted to nothing more than evidence free speculation.

      4. It’s not wild unwarranted suspicion.

        Remember MP Joan Ryan being secretly filmed for an undercover Al Jazeera series?

        Then this headline came along: Labour has reported one of the rebel MPs who quit this week to the Information Commissioner over claims she tried to access sensitive data held by the party.

        Quote fron the time : “In recent days, however, the party has become aware of a number of attempts to access personal data held on the party’s systems by individuals who are not, or are no longer, authorised to do so.”

      5. Andy – …..but I didn’t say that it was a “wild unwarranted suspicion”. Your dramatic language doesn’t magically alter what I actually said.

        What I did say was that in the ‘ransom attack’ that took place it was very unlikely that this breach would have given access to any sensitive data that was not encrypted. The Labour Party’s data controller would have been legally obliged to report it to the ICO if the hackers had managed to do this.

        But thanks for the contemporaneous quote. I actually found it reassuring that the attempts at unauthorised access by an exLabour MP were blocked and then because the logs were obviously being monitored the attempt was then reported to the relevant authorities. It is a sad fact that all too often organisations fail to monitor their various security logs properly, it is reassuring to have it confirmed that the Labour Party isn’t one of them.

  3. Skwawkbox – as independent left-wing media you need to read through the Grayzone’s report on Paul Mason’s activities very carefully as it relates to misuse of OFCOM and threats to revenues.

    He cannot be allowed to become an MP after this, surely?

    Might not be at the level of the 1960s notorious COINTELPRO programme – upon which the film – Judas and the Black Messiah is based, but it’s outrageous nonetheless, that Mason is trying to close down left-wing academics and independent media and worse, bring innocent people to the attention of intel agencies. People who have no basis for being put in that invidious position. It’s not only a waste of resources it’s very, very sinister.

    Novara media’s Aaron Bastani is utterly sickened by these revelations, as is Young Labour’s Jess Barnard. Mason surely can’t be allowed access to the left now? Not when he’s clearly working closely with those trying to close down independent media & permitted dissent , which is vital to any ‘free society’ that aspires to be worthy of the name. Mason’s paranoid fantasies about Russian ‘puppet-masters’ is 4D chess on steroids. He knows full well many of these academics he’s targeting were anti-imperialism, anti-war, anti-MIC and anti-NATO long before the name ‘Putin’ was even heard of.

  4. Andy, I’m just watching Ben Timberly on “Not PMQs”. There is far more to this than just Mason. It’s very sinister and Labour appear to be at the heart.

    Worth watching on YouTube and following Behind Labour on twitter.

  5. Having a serving MP (as a * former* owner) still holding influence over a poltical opinion polling company should be banned.

    It’s the same as broadcasters/newspapers that also have betting/gaming arms within the same umbrella company. They are capable of controlling the betting market through their *journalism* and news channel(s).

    For example, betting on which football club a player or manager might end up.

    ‘Sky sports news understands that player (or manager) ‘x’ has been approached by club ‘y’ and are in protracted negotiations…Skybet are now offering…That ‘x’ or ‘y’ will join club ‘z”

    …As result, the entire betting market would be affected by the story – whether it has credence or not.

    I’m not saying it’s actually happened, but it’s certainly possible. Manipulation of a different sort. For the life of me I cannot see how there is no conflict of interest.

  6. This article shows us that not only had Jeremy Corbyn to contend with the non stop criticism smears and downright lies of the PLP, Southside, the Tories, the establishment , Zionists, the BBC and the MSM he was also misrepresented and undermined by You Gov the polling company most favoured and most quoted by the national broadcaster and arch Corbyn hater, the BBC.

  7. Does anyone know if it is an offence to manipulate the result of a GE by corruption
    Mini Trump will call a GE to get a fresh mandate because he knows Temporary Embarrassment has NOTHING to offer the electorate

    1. If you are not allowed to have canvassers/posters within a certain distance of a polling station on polling day then I’d imagine something like this would be.

      It certainly ought to be.

      But what about that postal vote fraud, eh??? Happens everywhere on every election, it does…

  8. Obviously, Zahawi denies strongly threatening to have the CEO sacked. It was, he tweeted, a joke between good friends, thus confirming that Zahawi did indeed influenced YouGov in not publishing positive news about Labour.

    1. How many bad polls have been simply scrapped blaming methodology errors etc.

      Who commissions the poll shouldn’t matter but the polling company often knows what result the newspaper or organisation commissioning wants to see. We were getting three major polls a day at the height of the partygate story for example, that’s lots of money for these polling companies.

      Polling can easily be manipulated by polling at certain times of the day and with samples that oversample certain age groups/demographics – random doesn’t always mean truly random.

      It’s also possible to ask leading questions – prior to the party preference question – aimed at putting the person being polled in a particular frame of mind. Eg., Under Corbyn : Will the antisemitism scandal change the way you plan to vote? Today – Will the partygate scandal change the way you plan to vote? YouGov consistently gives the Tories the biggest leads though.

      1. Andy – The Times newspaper has been reporting on Labour’s consistent lead over the Tories in the YouGov polls for some time now.

      2. YouGov have issued a statement

        YouGov released a statement dismissing his claims. A spokesperson told the Mirror: “Chris Curtis’s allegation that we suppressed a poll because the results were ‘too positive about Labour’ is incorrect.
        “There was a poll run by Chris following the debate in Cambridge on 31st May 2017. When reviewed by others in the YouGov political team, it was clear that the sample of people who watched the debate significantly over-represented Labour voters from the previous election.
        “We take our responsibilities as a research organisation seriously and we could not have published a poll from a skewed sample that favoured any party. No serious polling organisation would have published this.
        “The idea that YouGov would suppress a poll that was ‘too positive about Labour’ is plainly wrong – as evidenced by the fact that in the 2017 election YouGov published an MRP model showing Labour doing significantly better compared to most other polling organisations.”

        In a tweet, Mr Zahawi said: “This was clearly a joke between two good friends, who had previously been business partners for several years.

        Responding to YouGov’s statement, Mr Curtis said on Twitter: “Given people are asking, I’m not saying that Nadhim directly had a hand in YouGov changing its results to suit [Tory] ends (as some have interpreted) but pointing to the general sense of panic YouGov had at the time which led to certain decisions.”

        An ‘interesting’ response from Curtis, draw your own conclusions.

      3. SteveH

        “Labour’s consistent lead over the Tories in the YouGov polls for some time now.”

        We’ve been over this before. Given Labour’s gentle media coverage I’m not at all surprised they are ahead – it
        ‘s a two-party system, when all said and done; in which by default when the govt becomes unpopular the opposition rise in the polls – how else can people show their dissatisfaction? Doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to vote tho- apathy may win out if Labour’s manifesto offer is threadbare.

        And tbh, I don’t think the big proprietors, intel people and wealthy elites who all hated Corbyn’s guts, are all that worried by Starmer and Reeves. They probably put them there in the first place, so why should they be?

        Don’t you see what’s happened? Labour has been hijacked by a man who lied his way to the leadership, as even a moderate journo like the guardian’s Owen Jones freq. points out.

      4. Andy – You can desperately try to spin it however you like but it won’t alter the facts.

  9. Well from this side of the world it would seem that state assets “were and still are involved in bringing down of the freedom of expression whether it is through the left wing or alternative media…..the only question is what state and why is the labour party involved in the front row of those who intend to bring down any form of the narritive of the establishment press or the establishment parliament.
    The country is beggining to resemble a” bannana republic “with a archaic and unworkable system that should have been consigned to the dustbin of history after the world wars.that led to a minor revolution of a Labour government.and a welfare state thats now disappearing .ITs little wonder looking at the labour party now why jeremy corbyn had to be destroyed and the socialist revival witchunted out of the political arena.I am absolutely positive that many of us commenting are on the files of the state who will have noted our veiws and politics for further details and investigation..IF you are still funding the labour party project why?

  10. Wee gobshite opts for toerag deniability over someone spilling the beans about a manipulation of an opinion poll that showed labour having a lead.

    Yes – THE very same wee gobshite who does NOTHING BUTposts links and refer to opinion polls showing leads for labour and demands YOU believe them.

    What a gobshite.

    1. Toffee – Did you miss the bit where I clearly said – “An ‘interesting’ response from Curtis, draw your own conclusions.” ?

      Have you read Curtis’s response to YouGov’s statement?
      Responding to YouGov’s statement, Mr Curtis said the following on Twitter:
      “Given people are asking, I’m not saying that Nadhim directly had a hand in YouGov changing its results to suit [Tory] ends (as some have interpreted) but pointing to the general sense of panic YouGov had at the time which led to certain decisions.”

      You having yet another childish rant because you’re in denial won’t change anything.

      1. No, I didn’t miss it.

        And it’s plain as day what YOUR conclusion is.
        It’s an EXTREMELY ambivalent and ambiguous response from Curtis.

        In essence: “It wasn’t down to what zawahi told yougov; there was a sense of panic which led to certain decisions”

        …A sense of panic?

        Brought about by….? 🤔

        NOWHERE is there an outright denial that zawahi made that call….It certainly makes out zawahi got involved in some manner, though

        Had this been a poll about keef you’d be having the screaming mimi’s. As it’s about Corbyn, it’s entirely legitimate.

        You’re full of shit. Just like el greasy bastardo..

        Go and worry those young goats, you utter wrong’un. 😕.

      2. Toffee – I’ve simply asked people to read the evidence for themselves and draw their own conclusions whilst all you have by way riposte is yet another profanity filled playground rant.
        FFS Grow Up

  11. Either zawahi made that call, and caused the manipulation; or the whole company is complicit in conspiring against Corbyn.

    …Or else WHY would there be :“A sense of panic which led to certain decisions”??

    Either way, there’s NO rebuttal of zawahi sticking his oar in.

    zawahi says the content of his call was ‘A joke’.

    …Really? YOUbelieve that, do you?

    YOU believe zawahi is capable of of lhumour and that (not so) veiled threats to someone constitute levity??

    I’ll take the liberty to remind you that you didn’t think webbe’s so-called threats were taken on good light by her victim did you?

    I digress.

    Nor is there anywhere in Curtis’ tweeted statement that denies the poll result was ‘manipulated’.

    Although it’s entirely legitimate for keef to point out that “nowhere does it say renationalisation.

    Now that your hypocrisy has been exposed for the fuckteenth time it’s about tomenyouvtoddled off to chew the furniture again.

    So, off you pop, gobshite. 🖕

    1. Toffee – What hypocrisy would that be?
      I’ve simply presented the evidence (along with a link to source material) and invited others to draw their own conclusions. Why are you getting you knickers in a twist again.

  12. Well I wake up again to more managed “news from the British propoganda machine.Oils at over 120 a.barrell…Europe is going for more interest rates punishment ,the pounds in trouble and the “City have lost confidence in the system they made and exported to the free” world “.The greed mongers are now looking to strip the western world of assets and are allowed to plunder the resources of the” system “.Britain is looking the least likly of the so called developed nations to ride this meltdown and planned reset of the western economys.Why do we look to a failed parliament and a failed system of uncontrollable capitalism and neo liberal unelected world order to sort out this mess?…And meanwhile British citizens encouraged to become mercenary soldiers by a British government knowing it to be illegal are to be executed by a Russia fighting Nato for its very existence.
    Manufactured War and a manufactured economic meltdown after a manufactured pandemic by traitorous scum in the City of London and drowning street..Enter starmer a manufactured “plant” by the new world order.Hello the saviour of the western world.and hello Washington dc…Well at least you had a manufactured street party to celebrate the Monarchies of treason.and her family..One in four people will visit “foodbanks” to avoid starvation in one of the wealthiest countries in the world whilst its welfare system goes down the drain along with civil liberties and freedom….How could we have allowed them?…..Simple the system is rigged and out of control of the people “…God help us because nobody else will.

    1. Rest in peace Bruce Kent a gia in the . peace movement and CND .A great man who hit the streets for peace in the cold war and the nucluer threat .He carried on in Pax Christi “and sacrifced his life for his love for humanity and his belief in the Church.He retired from the priesthood but continued in his work for peace and disarmament….we could do with more like him nowadays.

      1. That is sad news, Joseph. A man of real integrity. He will be sorely missed.

    2. Joseph – Could you please explain why you regard these two Ukrainian soldiers as mercenaries.

      1. Steve H…. “If it looks like a Duck and quacks like a Duck” The real criminals are people like truss Johnson and the knight who’ve encouraged ex British soldiers to go into a war they know little about or the history behind it.I don’t want to see these young men executed,but they may be used as a warning to people of another country to keep out of the Ukraine.and a war they know little about other than being told Russia=bad Britain and Uncle Sam good.Too many young British lives have been lost by flag waiving fanatics who encourage people to go to war.

      2. Joseph – Your problem is that neither of these two individuals looks like a duck. Both of them joined the Ukrainian military long before Putin’s illegal invasion of their home country.

        Aiden Aslin is a former care worker from Nottinghamshire. He previously fought with Kurdish armed units in Syria against the Islamic State group.
        Mr Aslin has a Ukrainian fiancee and he moved to Ukraine in 2018. He has both British and Ukrainian citizenship.
        He passed out as a marine with the Ukrainian military in 2018 and, according to his family, he is part of Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade.

        Shaun Pinner used to be a soldier in the British army before he moved to Ukraine in 2018.
        His wife is Ukrainian and according to his family, Mr Pinner has a three-year contract with the Ukrainian marines that is due to expire at the end of this year.
        Mr Pinner’s family said he had been planning to then take on a humanitarian role in Ukraine.

  13. I now bring us back to a previous discussion regarding Paul Mason and Grayzone.
    Ben Timberley has, again, been doing some sterling work and has found some interesting links that are revealed by the Mason leaks.

  14. Temporary Embarrassment and his useful idiot Two Cheeks come from the Donald Trump/ Steve Bannon school of propaganda and smear because when you own the MSM and toilet papers, it works
    Free Press, my arse
    So let’s see what happens in America, the charge is sedition, hopefully we get to gaol the f7ckers soon across this side of the pond

    1. Sedition or Treason
      The former DPP has undermined our democracy, he worked for the Tory party and against his own party, false representation
      He has no allegiance to the sovereignty of our democracy

  15. This is interesting.
    Put together information from global commodities reports and from Indian media reports and what do we find?
    The price of antimony on the markets rose by well over 10% between Feb and March this year and has continued to rise. Antimony is needed, by arms manufacturers, to produce modern high velocity shells and bullets, night vision goggles and a variety of other military materials. The US has said it will supply squillons of dollars worth of armaments to Ukraine. US arms manufacturers will need to buy antimony to do so. The US has not produced antimony since 2018. Mining operations closed, presumably for financial reasons. The main sources of antimony now are ……… wait for it …….. Russia and China. The US has banned trade with Russia, so no antimony from there then. Chinese suppliers are hanging on to stocks in the expectation that prices will continue to rise. Tajikistan does produce some, but is unlikely to step up, and couldn’t go anywhere near filling the gap. I wonder how this will play out.

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