Peter Kellner
President of YouGov, political commentator and journalist

Entries by Peter Kellner

Boris Needs to Get Serious

(2) Comments | Posted 12 August 2014 | (00:00)

If Boris Johnson is to be a real vote-winner on the national stage, he will have to show that he has the judgement to lead Britain through troubled times

Nobody could have been surprised by Boris Johnson’s announcement that he intends to stand for parliament next year. We all knew...

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Economic Clouds Begin to Disperse

(0) Comments | Posted 21 May 2014 | (09:51)

To help us limber up for the glorious five-day festival of number-crunching that lies ahead –  from polling day on Thursday to next Monday’s fallout from the European Parliament election results – here are some figures that might matter more in the long-run.

They concern Britain’s economy. Below are the...

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Making Sense of UKIP's Surge

(13) Comments | Posted 7 May 2014 | (00:00)

Hello and welcome to today’s big questions. When are (a) 29% a triumph, (b) 30% defeat and (c) 31% disaster?

The answers, of course, are (a) 2014, (b) 2010 and (c) 1997. 29% is Ukip’s current support in this month’s elections to the European Parliament. It is vying for first...

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Farage Wins Round Two

(8) Comments | Posted 3 April 2014 | (10:55)

Nigel Farage won his second television debate with Nick Clegg by an even larger margin than last week. Fully 68% said the UKIP leader ‘performed better overall’, up from 57% after the first debate, while Clegg’s rating slipped from 36% to 27%.

As last week, this YouGov survey...

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Tony Benn's Finest Speech

(4) Comments | Posted 14 March 2014 | (10:49)

Tony Benn never delivered his finest speech.

When his father, Viscount Stansgate died in November 1960, Benn inherited his title. Under the law as it stood, Benn had to give up his seat as Labour MP for Bristol South-East. But Benn wanted to remain in the Commons and not...

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Sex, Drugs, Money and Old School Ties - Which Bits of MPs' Lives Really Matter?

(0) Comments | Posted 10 March 2014 | (23:00)

Which bits of MPs' lives really matter? The real scandal can be found on a politician's CV...

One of the bugbears of being a politician is the risk that a controversy might erupt at any time about things that have little or no direct connection with their day-to-day work. Recently...

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Scottish Voters Oppose Independence by 60%-40%

(35) Comments | Posted 3 March 2014 | (10:28)

I bring important news from Scotland. Nothing much is changing. I realise this will disappoint those people, journalists in particular, for whom stability is boring, bereft of news value and therefore to be ignored. In this case, however, I believe the stability in Scottish views of independence tells us something...

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The Floods and the Politics of Climate Change

(3) Comments | Posted 17 February 2014 | (13:25)

The great majority of scientists agree; so do most senior politicians. Now voters are tending to think the same way: the floods are probably the result of climate change.

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Conferences? What Conferences?

(3) Comments | Posted 15 October 2013 | (00:00)

Normal service has resumed. Parliament is back; for all bar a small, obsessive minority, memories of the party conferences have faded. As usual, they provided polling as well as political dramas: a small Liberal Democratic bounce in the first week at Labour’s expense, allowing the Conservatives briefly to draw level;...

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Who Should Take Part in TV Debates?

(37) Comments | Posted 7 October 2013 | (11:50)

Once again, Sky News has taken the lead. It spearheaded the broadcasters successful campaign to secure leader's debates in the 2010 general election. Now John Ryley, head of Sky News, has proposed a formula for debates in 2015. His main proposal is that Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence...

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Labour's Limited Appeal to Trade Union Members

(32) Comments | Posted 11 September 2013 | (00:00)

Most members of trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party would NOT vote Labour if a general election were held this week, according to a YouGov analysis on the eve of Ed Miliband’s speech to the Trades Union Congress 

On behalf of Channel 4 News, we have aggregated data from...

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Are Labour and the Tories Really Level-Pegging?

(46) Comments | Posted 16 July 2013 | (00:00)

This blog breaks one of my rules. I try not to criticise YouGov's rivals. Like us, they do their best to provide reliable data. Like us, they are prone to sampling fluctuations: sadly, none of us have managed to repeal the laws of probability. However, ICM's latest poll for the...

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Electronic 'Snooping': 42% Back Police and Security Agencies Breaking the Law

(19) Comments | Posted 10 June 2013 | (16:46)

There is all to play for in the battle for public opinion over the right of the police and security agencies to access mobile phone, email and social media records. A simmering dispute over the Data Communications Bill, or 'snooper's charter', has roared to life following the disclosures by the...

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Are There Questions YouGov Should Not Ask?

(7) Comments | Posted 30 May 2013 | (00:00)

From time to time we receive complaints about some of our questions. These complaints usually come from people who disagree with the majority opinion. They would rather we asked the question in a different way (‘you should ask whether voters side with the honest people who wear lilac trousers or...

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Cameron's EU Tactics Backfire

(8) Comments | Posted 17 May 2013 | (13:22)

If David Cameron expected voters to respect him for firming up his commitment to a referendum on the European Union, YouGov’s latest polling for The Times will disappoint him. Most Britons, including a majority of those who voted Conservative in 2010, think he is acting out of tactical calculation rather...

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Britain's Economy: The Gloom Starts to Lift

(18) Comments | Posted 14 May 2013 | (00:00)

Sometimes sudden shifts in poll numbers matter less than the slow steady movements. Dramatic mood swings are liable to be reversed; gradual change is often sustained.

This blog discusses a creeping change in attitudes that is invisible from week to week, and barely noticeable from month to month, but which...

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Making Sense of the Local Elections

(0) Comments | Posted 2 May 2013 | (15:53)

Starting in the early hours of tomorrow morning, we shall be bombarded with analyses of the local election results. Are the gains and losses for each party above, below or on a par with expectations? Is Ed Miliband on course to become Prime Minister? Has UKIP overtaken the Liberal Democrats?

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Pessimism, Prosperity and the Next Election

(0) Comments | Posted 29 April 2013 | (13:33)

My, we are a gloomy lot. Last week, I discussed the possible impact of a triple-dip recession. Last Thursday’s GDP figures suggest that Britain’s economy has so far avoided this fate. However, it is also clear that the government’s hopes of steady growth of 2 - 3% a...

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Cigarette Packets: The Case for a New Law

(5) Comments | Posted 25 April 2013 | (11:16)

Let me declare my interest at the outset. ASH, the anti-smoking campaign, is a client of YouGov; I am also a trustee. So, for once, this blog goes beyond data analysis. It includes YouGov research, but also sets out my personal views.

The reason for doing this now is that...

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The Politics of a Triple-Dip Recession

(3) Comments | Posted 22 April 2013 | (12:25)

On Wednesday, the day before the rest of us, George Osborne will know whether Britain’s economy has succumbed to a triple-dip recession. By convention, the Office for National Statistics gives ministers 24 hours’ notice of its data, so they can prepare their response to the figures when they enter the...

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