Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Tory push polling in Cornwall

There has been some discussion in the national media about the concept of push polling following an unfortunate incident in the Lib Dem leadership election when supporters of one candidate appear to have engaged in somewhat dodgy activities.

But you can find examples of push polling much closer to home. Cornwall Conservatives are engaging in a form of push polling right now - and they seem quite proud of the fact.

Push polling is where a resident is contacted under the pretence of taking part in a survey or poll but instead of fair and balanced questions is given biased statements which might or might not be true but only present one side of an argument. The aim of push polling is either to produce a survey response which is wholly in favour of one side or to make residents believe a distorted message about a political opponent.

The Conservatives in Cornwall have attacked the campaign by the Liberal Democrats and others for more powers, rights and responsibilities to be devolved from London to Cornwall. They have every right to oppose the 'Case for Cornwall', of course. However, their survey tactics look decidedly underhand.

Deposed group leader Fiona Ferguson has blogged and included a photo of some of the survey questions:

Except when you look at those questions, you find that every one of them is preceded by a statement which is either untrue or horrendously biased. Those statements make this a push poll and the outcome a foregone conclusion.

So when a Conservative tells you that the people of Cornwall oppose more devolution, remember that this is how they got their 'evidence'.

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