Did BNP’ers game YouGov to inflate support?


by Sunny Hundal    
2:11 pm - October 27th 2009

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The British National Party is well-known for urging supporters to go to messageboards, blogs and BBC HaveYourSay pages to fight their corner.

But are they doing the same with online polling companies to artificially inflate their own support?

One of the admins at the BNP website recently set up a page on its social network to encourage people to game YouGov. It is titled: ‘YOUGOV – Let’s increase BNP’s support in polls, and raise money at the same time!.‘ (link to BNP site).

The admin British Patriot writes:

Despite recently getting two MEPs elected our support in Yougov polls has recently dropped to 3% (just 1% in Scotland).
One of the main reasons people don’t vote for us is because they believe we are a wasted vote, and it’s online polls such as Yougov that give them this impression!

If EVERY BNP supporter joined Yougov, we could put our support on a par with the Lib Dems and possibly higher!
On top of this we could actually raise money for the Party via Yougov as you actually get paid for participating in surveys.
I have already been sent a £50 cheque by Yougov which I donated to the party.

Imagine if every BNP supporter signed up to Yougov and every few weeks, raised £50 which was donated to the party.
The party could potentially get £100,000’s per year via Yougov!!!

The page mentions the rise in the BNP’s support in the recent YouGov poll. To date it has over 650 members.

The Lancaster Unity blog points out:

Apart from the fact that BNP members are being encouraged to obtain money by false pretenses which will then be donated to the party, the party is also deliberately loading the YouGov member base with numerous BNP members, thus skewing any survey or poll result in, where relevant, the BNP’s favou

Several members on BNP forums claim to have joined YouGov after hearing of the group.

We’ve contacted YouGov for a statement on this issue.

Update: YouGov have released a statement in response to our concerns, saying the impact is likely to be negligible.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


I would imagine YouGov have thought of this possibility before, and will already have procedures in place to counteract any sudden influx from a particular group.

I’m not sure that would be possible, given these BNP supporters would be encouraged to hide their party affiliation before joining.

They might have tried to do so, but to actually manage to have any significant impact they would have to have had to carefully orchestrate their supporters to sign up to YouGov providing details so as to give them a specific distribution of demographic characteristics ( I think YouGov polls are demographically weighted in terms of who is selected and in terms of the resulting data??) & they would have needed to have been enormously lucky in terms of being selected by YouGov to respond. Basically, it’s incredibly unlikely that they could have altered the poll by more than a tiny fraction of a percentage point.

And as Mike Smithson points out in the link from cjcjc above: “As a starting pointing the BNP might have had a better chance of succeeding if they hadn’t first put it on a website that anybody could find within a few seconds on Google.”

http://politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2009/10/27/will-the-bnp-succeed-in-infiltrating-yougov/

Idiots.

The only hope is that the YouGov list is large enough – but 600 people is still a relatively large number that could affect numbers by 1/2%. For a party that small it’s still significant.

No, they haven’t.

BNP support in the last YouGov poll was 3%, up from 2%. This mirrors today’s ComRes poll, which also shows a 1% bump.

600 people is still a relatively large number that could affect numbers by 1/2%. For a party that small it’s still significant.

Actually, 1% literally isn’t significant, as it is within the margin of error – no matter how big the party is.

I suppose the only proof is in the pudding, we have to watch the YouGov figures closely and see what kind of data they come back with and whether 600 can make a difference.

£50?

I’m joining YouGov!

Paul Sagar you’re a cheap slut!

http://www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2009/10/27/will-the-bnp-succeed-in-infiltrating-yougov/

The update on the Political Betting post says it all really, it’s just totally implausible that the BNP could “game” YouGov & all this story really suggests is that they have no idea whatsoever how YouGov’s methodology works.

I suppose the only proof is in the pudding, we have to watch the YouGov figures closely and see what kind of data they come back with and whether 600 can make a difference.

The proof is in statistics and how YouGov operates.

Bear in mind that YouGov has over a quarter of a million members in the UK.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Revealed: Did BNP supporters game YouGov to inflate their support? http://bit.ly/1HdIj8 (fixed link)

  2. sunny hundal

    RT @libcon: Revealed: Did BNP supporters game YouGov to inflate their support? http://bit.ly/1HdIj8 (fixed link)

  3. Tim Ireland

    RT @libcon Revealed: Did BNP supporters game YouGov to inflate their support? http://bit.ly/1HdIj8 (fixed link)

  4. sunny hundal

    @Glinner whoops, here is the correct link on the BNP story http://bit.ly/1HdIj8

  5. StopTheRight

    RT @libcon Revealed: Did BNP supporters game YouGov to inflate their support? http://bit.ly/1HdIj8 (fixed link)

  6. Liberal Conspiracy

    Revealed: Did BNP supporters game YouGov to inflate their support? http://bit.ly/1HdIj8 (fixed link)

  7. sunny hundal

    RT @libcon: Revealed: Did BNP supporters game YouGov to inflate their support? http://bit.ly/1HdIj8 (fixed link)

  8. Tim Ireland

    RT @libcon Revealed: Did BNP supporters game YouGov to inflate their support? http://bit.ly/1HdIj8 (fixed link)

  9. Tweets that mention Liberal Conspiracy » Did BNP’ers game YouGov to inflate support? -- Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by sunny hundal, Liberal Conspiracy. Liberal Conspiracy said: Revealed: Did BNP supporters game YouGov to inflate their support? http://bit.ly/1HdIj8 (fixed link) [...]

  10. sunny hundal

    @Glinner whoops, here is the correct link on the BNP story http://bit.ly/1HdIj8

  11. StopTheRight

    RT @libcon Revealed: Did BNP supporters game YouGov to inflate their support? http://bit.ly/1HdIj8 (fixed link)

  12. ‘BNP Gaming YouGov’ Adds Another Chapter To Question Time Blockbuster « Jon Bernstein

    [...] Hundal over at Liberal Conspiracy notes that one of the administrators on the BNP website recently set up a page on its social [...]

  13. Noxi

    Liberal Conspiracy » Did BNP’ers game YouGov to inflate support? http://ow.ly/wWsX

  14. loveandgarbage

    @commentisfree 2 good posts on BNP support by @antonvowl – http://bit.ly/fCKzh and Liberal Conspiracy – http://bit.ly/1HdIj8

  15. Noxi

    Liberal Conspiracy » Did BNP’ers game YouGov to inflate support? http://ow.ly/wWsX

  16. links for 2009-10-28 « Jon Bernstein

    [...] Did BNP’ers game YouGov to inflate support? One of the admins at the BNP website recently set up a page on its social network to encourage people to game YouGov. It is titled: ‘YOUGOV – Let’s increase BNP’s support in polls, and raise money at the same time!.‘ [Liberal Conspiracy] (tags: BNP YouGov Social_Media Facebook Election2010) [...]





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