Peter Kellner
President of YouGov, political commentator and journalist

Entries by Peter Kellner

Is Rail Nationalisation a Vote-Winner?

(26) Comments | Posted September 21, 2015 | 7:00 PM

Popular policies put forward by leaders who lack public credibility can end up losing more votes than they gain

For obvious reasons, politicians love to claim that their policies are popular. The more they can show that they are on the side of the voters, the easier it is to...

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Speak for Europe, David

(1) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 7:00 PM

The advice from Europe’s voters to David Cameron could not be clearer: If you want popular support across the Channel for your renegotiation strategy, talk not about what’s good for Britain but what’s good for Europe

YouGov’s latest Eurotracker survey questioned voters in France, Germany and Scandinavia, as...

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Would a Fairer Voting System Be a Better System?

(30) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 7:00 PM

The pros and cons of proportional representation in Britain

Denmark’s elections do not normally attract much interest in Britain. Last week’s was an exception; and I propose discussing it – though not for the reason it made the news. For the purposes of my argument it is irrelevant that the...

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Why an EU 'Yes' Vote Won't Settle the Matter

(5) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 4:55 AM

The 1975 referendum couldn't do it. Why should this one? 

One of the most seductive arguments for holding an in-out referendum on the European Union is that it will settle the matter for decades to come: if the UK votes to stay in, we can then plan for the future...

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Should Labour Move to the Centre?

(8) Comments | Posted May 18, 2015 | 9:17 AM

A less ideological approach to building a fairer society, and a path forward for Labour 

An open letter to Labour’s new leader

Dear sir or madam:

The question that has dominated Labour’s election post mortem is whether the party lost because it was too left-wing and should therefore...

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Boris Needs to Get Serious

(2) Comments | Posted August 11, 2014 | 7:00 PM

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 May 21, 2014 | 4:51 AM

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 May 6, 2014 | 7:00 PM

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 April 3, 2014 | 5:55 AM

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 March 14, 2014 | 6:49 AM

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 March 10, 2014 | 7:00 PM

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 March 3, 2014 | 5:28 AM

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 February 17, 2014 | 8:25 AM

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 October 14, 2013 | 7:00 PM

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 October 7, 2013 | 6:50 AM

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 September 10, 2013 | 7:00 PM

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 July 15, 2013 | 7:00 PM

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 June 10, 2013 | 11:46 AM

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 May 29, 2013 | 7:00 PM

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 May 17, 2013 | 8:22 AM

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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