80 per cent of Britons want to leave the EU, says the Express. Except they don’t

The poll was conducted by and among Tories in a small area of the UK known to be sympathetic to quitting the EU

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Today’s Daily Express claims that 80 per cent of British people want to quit the EU.

In what it calls the ‘biggest vote on this country’s ties to Brussels for 40 years’, the paper cites a poll which says that 11,706 out of 14,581 people voted to leave. The Express goes on to claim that the ‘overwhelming’ result boosts its own crusade to get Britain out of Europe.

Yet even the most cursory examination of the polling method used by the paper reveals the results to be skewed to the point of discredit.

The poll was organised by Conservative MPs Peter Bone and Philip Hollobone and Conservative candidate Tom Purslove, and was conducted across their three constituencies in North Northamptonshire  – Wellingborough, Kettering and Corby and East Northamptonshire.

In other words, this was a poll of Tories in one section of the country: the three in question are right-wing Tories who organised a poll among their own voters. This isn’t representative, as the Express claims.

In the East Midlands, where the constituencies are situated, UKIP received 32.9 percent of the votes in May’s European elections. Furthermore, UKIP and the Tories are closely aligned in this area.

UKIP have made several attempts to poach Mr Hollobone; in September they delayed selecting a candidate for Kettering because they were sure they could convince him to defect.

Outgoing local party chairman Jonathan Bullock said that ‘his views are exactly those of UKIP, they are not those of David Cameron’. Hollobone refuses to meet with constituents who wear a burqa or niqab, and has attempted to pass a Face Coverings (Prohibition) bill.

Peter Bone, meanwhile, wrote in an editorial for The Guardian in which he claimed that the sole reason he hadn’t defected to UKIP was because only Cameron could deliver a referendum on the EU.

And Tom Pursglove wrote last April for Conservative Home that:

“The British people have been denied their say on our membership of the European Union since 1975. When I am out knocking on doors in Corby and East Northamptonshire as part of my Listening Campaign, people regularly tell me that it is about time they had the chance to have their say.

“It is for that reason that Peter Bone MP, Philip Hollobone MP and I, as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Corby and East Northamptonshire, are today launching a North Northamptonshire wide In-Out EU Referendum”.

So this ‘historic’ poll was conducted among people that the three MPs already knew were sympathetic to their aims and likely to give them the answer they wanted. Even today Bone admitted that, across the country, votes for an exit would ‘not [be] on the scale we have seen in North Northamptonshire’.

This is not to say that there is not a significant number of voters who want to quit the EU. The figures shift constantly, but tend to be roughly split down the middle. A Populus poll last April showed that 35 per cent of those surveyed would vote to stay and 32 per cent to leave.

An Ipsos Mori poll conducted in October indicated the highest level of British support for EU membership since 1991, with 56 per cent voting to stay in.

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

118 Responses to “80 per cent of Britons want to leave the EU, says the Express. Except they don’t”

  1. Guest

    Ah yes, the good old Social Darwinism – anyone who isn’t Thinking Alike with you is mentally ill. Same old, same old.

    As you whine that British people exist who don’t share your rabid hate of the UK.

  2. Guest

    No surprise you need to start with the social darwinism against people not sharing your views, showing your extremism.

    In addition, of course, to your calls for an army to march against Britain, a call for armed insurrection on your part…

  3. Cole

    Boring cliched rubbish. Yawn.

  4. Cole

    That means around 85% of us – normal patriotic Brits – will not be voting Ukip. But you’re probably daft enough that the polls are all in a conspiracy against you and loony friends.

  5. Cole

    Bonkers.

  6. Cole

    Not a very big army by the looks of it, and not much use. More like Dads Army.

  7. BigRed

    Hi Cole, lets forget politics just for a moment. Take a look at ‘guests’ posts, is he/she for real? He is either mental or is a Germanic.
    I can’t believe what he is posting, can’t be doing much good for your cause posting such utter trash. lol

  8. Cole

    We all know Ukip want to get rid of the NHS, along with ‘nancy boys’ and foreigners (Frau Farage excepted, I imagine).

  9. BigRed

    Cole, we are quite sane and we know exactly what is going on. We see quite clearly the way the ConLibLab elite are taking us. If you think we’re loonies then you must be a little short on grey matter.

  10. BigRed

    Cole let us forget politics for one post each. If you look at ‘guests’ posts, then you’ll know who the loonies are. I do not think he is doing your cause much good. lol
    By the way, this is the second time I’m trying to bring to your attention the loony post by your compatriot ‘guest’.
    If you want to further your cause you need to shut him up. rofl

  11. BigRed

    Latest report in the mirror: General Election on a knife edge: Our exclusive poll shows Labour just ONE per cent behind Tories with 101 days to go

    Con 31%, Lab 30%, UKIP 23%, LD 7%, SNP 5%, Grn 3%
    As I can’t post URL’s just google the headline, you’ll find it. lol
    100 days of growth in UKIP’s share.

  12. BigRed

    Latest report in the mirror: General Election on a knife edge: Our exclusive
    poll shows Labour just ONE per cent behind Tories with 101 days to go

    Con 31%, Lab 30%, UKIP 23%, LD 7%, SNP 5%, Grn 3%

    As I can’t post URL’s just google the headline, you’ll find it. lol

    100 days of growth in UKIP’s share.

  13. BigRed

    Latest report in the mirror: General Election on a knife edge: Our exclusive
    poll shows Labour just ONE per cent behind Tories with 101 days to go

    Con 31%, Lab 30%, UKIP 23%, LD 7%, SNP 5%, Grn 3%

    As I can’t post URL’s just google the headline, you’ll find it. lol

    100 days of growth in UKIP’s share.

  14. BigRed

    Latest report in the mirror: General Election on a knife edge: Our exclusive
    poll shows Labour just ONE per cent behind Tories with 101 days to go

    Con 31%, Lab 30%, UKIP 23%, LD 7%, SNP 5%, Grn 3%

    As I can’t post URL’s just google the headline, you’ll find it. lol

    100 days of growth in UKIP’s share.

  15. BigRed

    Latest report in the mirror: General Election on a knife edge: Our exclusive
    poll shows Labour just ONE per cent behind Tories with 101 days to go

    Con 31%, Lab 30%, UKIP 23%, LD 7%, SNP 5%, Grn 3%

    As I can’t post URL’s just google the headline, you’ll find it. lol

    100 days of growth in UKIP’s share.

  16. Faerieson

    How many comments are by those who fully understand the fuller implications? How many comments have been informed solely by a hidden-agenda media? Does The Daily Express have an agenda? It invariably does, often lurching rabidly to the right.

  17. Faerieson

    Leftish press, really? Perhaps more than a hint at where you’re coming from.

  18. Alan59

    Yes they do! Vote Ukip !

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