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YouGov polling expert questions validity of anti-gay marriage results

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  1. Short version – The polls carried out by ComRes, and the spurious conclusions drawn from them, are a steaming pile?

    Anyone with a reasonable education should know that public polling is an easily manipulated process. For that reason (among many others) we don’t have direct democracy.

  2. At last, common sense from a pollster. Nate Silver, gay polling nerd extraordinaire, has talked about the limits of polls and the easy spin that can be attached to almost any result. His statistical methodologies which build a stochastic predictive model on poll of polls data were spot on in US elections. He knows about which he speaks unlike the loudmouth partisan Chairman of ComRes who has become inextricably linked with the thing he is trying to measure. Fool.

  3. Spotted on ComRes website:


    ComRes. Who are they employing? Four year olds?

    What more proof needed that they can neither spell nor count.


  4. Well this is a shock. Surely the devout wouldn’t resort to distorted and biased polls. Would they?

  5. Mumbo Jumbo 25 Nov 2012, 6:11pm

    The Mail, the Telegraph and organised religion telling lies? Tell me it isn’t so!

  6. Same old problem: the very people who most need to read these clarifications and debunkings never get to, because their favourite newspaper shields them from facts and context, preferring to confirm prejudice than challenge it. See also: Rotherham foster furore (which emerges just days before a vital by-election battle between UKIP and Labour – some coincidence) and all the blatant fabrications printed in the Daily Mail about Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. And just about every “PC gone mad” story ever printed.

  7. I agree with the main thrust of the article re. the notorious innaccuracy and manipulability of polls, but also contend that equal marriage must be enacted even if it were demonstrated that a majority were against it. Simply doing what majorities want is mob-rule, especially when it comes to the treatment of minorities. In the term ‘liberal democracy’ the first word is all too apt to be forgotten.

    1. tl;dr – Too Logical; Demobracy Rulz :)

  8. Rpbert in S. Kensington 25 Nov 2012, 7:37pm

    At long last, a reasoned discussion from someone who knows about polls.

    Of course Comres polls are going to be skewed in favour of their client, C4M. That’s what they’re paid to do no matter how they achieve the desired result. It explains why Comres never reveals its methodology claiming client privacy. How does Comres know that every signature it has gathered is genuine? Surely, isn’t it aware that one person can sign a petition several times under the guise of a different user identification, email address or mailing address since most internet providers allow several sub-accounts for each user?

    Similarly, the claims by some Tories that many gay people are opposed to equal marriage can be manipulated the same way by people who are pretending to be gay to bolster the numbers? I think that’s what’s happened to token gay people like Conor Burns and other Tory MPs in opposition giving the impression that because one gay MP is against it, then almost all gay people are.

  9. I call these polls, “death throes”.

  10. Craig Nelson 25 Nov 2012, 8:26pm

    It seems as tough ComRes has become a part of the coalition against marriage equality – they’ve gone beyond mere polling in my view.

    I do not think ComRes are reliable on this issue and they are in effect throwing away their reputation as a serious polling organisation.

    Maybe they should go the whole hog and merge with absurdly named ‘Campaign for marriage’ then there would be no pretence.

  11. Any poll from ComRes on equal marriage alwasy fall in the favour of the antis….how convenient!

    ComRes wouldn’t be employed by C4M if they produced a bad poll.

  12. He is a degenerate, that’s all…

    1. Is that what excites you Eric? Go on, you can tell us. We’re all gay together here. We understand what you’re going through.

  13. C4M is a dedicated anti-gay hate group, these skewed polls are no more than anti-gay propaganda.

  14. Comres need to be very careful indeed – if they get a reputation for slewing results in the direction of the answers that the poll sponsors require, they are on very shaky ground.

    Keep this up Comres and your company will become synonymous with dodgy results with the outcome that nobody will believe them and would be a lot less willing to use such a company.

    The answer? Follow established professional polling protocols and make sure your polls are unbiased.

    The alternative? Face oblivion!

  15. I think Sir Humphrey Appleton told us all we need to know about opinion polls:

    1. I think you mean Sir Humphrey AppleBY…

      1. Quite right. I mustn’t post on Pink News after getting back from the pub.

    2. Absolutely brilliant sketch… and many a true word spoken in jest.

      It describes Con Res’s biased polls wonderfully.

  16. If they managed to get a 5% attendance rate on a referendum vote on SSM in the UK they would be doing well!

    The vast majority of attendees to the referendum would member of LGBT hate groups. SSM has little interest to the majorty of the population, they’re not going to bother going out to poll stations to decide on SSM.

  17. The wording of the ComRes poll is so biased that it surely must be deliberate.

    I completely agree with the statement that marriage should to be defined as a commitment between a man and a woman.

    But I vehemently believe that marriage should also be defined as a commitment between two men or two women.

    ComRes’s polling for C4M only asks the first of these two questions, and then they spuriously (or perhaps maliciously) report this as an anti-gay stance. The only possible explanation for this is that ComRes relies on repeat customers to stay in business, and they believe that the customer (C4M in this case) is always right.

  18. Mr Wells then went on to criticise the reporting of last week’s C4M poll, which stated that 62% of people agreed with the statement “marriage should continue to be defined as a life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a woman”.

    How many of those who agreed with this statement were divorced?

    1. exactly!!

  19. Sir Robert Worcester 26 Nov 2012, 12:14pm

    Anthony Wells is always worth listening to in my view.

    Sir Robert Worcester
    Founder, MORI

  20. Thanks Anthony – good to hear an expert opinion of these clearly rigged polls.

    The joke is, they must have sat down and thought “how do we get the result we want” and then carefully constructed questions to extract the desired response.

    How Christian of them.

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