Tristram hunt

The Labour Leave campaign claim to be working in the interests of the Labour party, so why are they boosting Ukip with a ‘voodoo poll’?

Political Scrapbook earlier highlighted that the Labour Leave campaign, which lobbies to leave the EU, is funded by right-wing Tory donors including supporters of Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Despite being ignored by most of Labour, it is still intent on creating mischief.

This morning The Sun and the Express triumphantly tout a poll by Labour Leave that shows UKIP 10 points ahead in Stoke, where Tristram Hunt’s resignation has triggered a by-election.

UKIP came second in the constituency at the last election

Tristram Hunt Stoke

But it is what is commonly referred to as a ‘voodoo poll’.

As Anthony Wells points out:

There is no sign of who did the fieldwork, how the data was weighted or even what mode it was conducted by. We do not have any information about the demographics of the achieved sample. Worryingly it doesn’t even specify that it was specifically Stoke Central though I can only assume it was. All we have is a sample size of 182. In a random sample this would give a huge margin of error of plus or minus 7 percentage points (despite the 4% it claims in the document)

My understanding is it comes from Labourleave convassing their own database of contacts in Stoke. Obviously something like that brings a heavy risk of bias depending on who they have on their database and what skews may be present. With all those concerns, one can put very little weight upon the results. Even if details are forthcoming and it turns out it was actually conducted and weighted in an appropriate way, the tiny sample size renders it of limited use.

For now – at least until more detail is forthcoming – ignore.

So why did Labour Leave put out such a dodgy poll boosting Ukip?

Interestingly, Labour Leave also made a donation of £18,500 to UKIP just days before the Referendum.

An analysis by Political Scrapbook in June last year found the vast majority of Labour Leave’s money came from right-wingers (the numbers may have changed since then).



Surely it cannot have anything to do with their funders…

  1. I did a poll yesterday of people living in Sydney, au. with a sample size of 0, weighted towards UKIP that gave them a 50 point lead with an error of + or – 0.1 % .

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