Fake News: ‘Shock’ Poll Alleges Brexit ‘Remainers’ Now Have 11-Point Lead over Leave… They Don’t

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A new poll alleging an 11-point lead for ‘Remain’ campaigners if a Brexit referendum were held today is being intentionally used to deceive the British public over the sentiment of their fellow countrymen, with the latest data burying the fact that the “gains” in the Remain column are made up of 2016 referendum non-voters.

The hard-left, anti-Brexit website the Independent commissioned the BMG poll, which has been thoughtlessly re-reported across the UK media. But what the news articles either do not say, or bury towards the end of their copy, is that the polling is scarcely reflective of the vote that constituted the 2016 referendum result, and has to include likely non-voters in order to come to its conclusions.

The Independent reported this weekend:

The British public has swung behind staying in the EU by its largest margin since the referendum, with those backing Remain outstripping Leavers by [11] points, a new poll has revealed.

But the full breakdown of results includes commentary by BMG’s Head of Polling Michael Turner, who revealed THREE major areas in which the reports on the polling have been intentionally misleading:

Turner admitted: “[R]eaders should also be aware that when we dig a little deeper into the data, it reveals that this shift has come predominantly from those who did not actually vote in the 2016 Referendum. Around nine in ten Leave and Remain voters say they are still unchanged in their view on whether to leave or remain”.

He also stated: “It is also worth noting that the fieldwork for this poll was conducted when much was being made in the public press about the UK’s failure to progress to the next stage of the Brexit negotiations. It is plausible therefore, that the latest polling is to some degree a reflection of what could be considered the height of tensions between the UK and EU negotiating teams, as well as public concerns over the Irish border, which included interventions from the Irish government and the DUP.”

Finally, the pollster was forced to add a clarification on their website following the Independent’s misleading report. BMG noted: “Readers should note that this poll does not mean that the British public think that the decision to leave the EU should be reversed. Nor does it indicate strong support for another referendum. In fact polling shows that there is very little support for having a second referendum”.

The pollster used a methodology which included attempting to elicit “squeeze responses” out of those polled, meaning they were pressed to give an answer when initially they may have been reluctant. In polling, this is regarded as a way of getting a better answer from non-engaged or non-voters, but it also is criticised because many people will give answers just to get the pollster off the phone, or to breeze through an online survey.

In 1992, those who could not be squeezed — i.e. did not answer and were not factored into the final results — were found to lean more towards conservative (i.e. pro-Brexit in this scenario) viewpoints.

It isn’t the first time polls have been used as campaigning tools, as I have previously reported at length.

Raheem Kassam is the editor in chief of Breitbart London

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