IPSO rules Daily Express ’98 per cent’ Brexit poll was bogus

Paper forced to publish ruling after 'misleading' story

 

The Daily Express has been forced to clarify a front page story claiming ’98 per cent say no to EU deal’ without making clear this was a telephone poll of Express readers, who had to pay a fee to vote.

Watchdog IPSO ruled the July 2016 story published in the wake of Britain voting to leave the European Union was ‘misleading’ and breeched the ‘accuracy’ clause of the editor’s code of conduct.

It called for a front page reference to the ruling and the full statement to be published on page two.

Today’s Express has a box at the bottom which reads, ‘IPSO rules against Daily Express poll, see page 2′, and carries the ruling on its website.

In the ruling, IPSO said:

“In all the circumstances, the Committee took the view that the article gave the impression that it was reporting the significant results of a representative poll carried out by a third-party for the publication.

In fact, the poll was conducted through a premium rate phoneline, which allowed a self-selecting sample of the newspaper’s readers to express their views.”

You can read the full ruling below:

The complainant said that said that the headline was misleading because it did not make clear that the 98 per cent figure had come from a survey, rather than representing the view of the public at large.

He said that a genuine poll could not have found 98 per cent of the population who would agree with the question asked in the poll, and that a responsible poll would have ensured a representative sample

The newspaper denied that the article was misleading. It said that the headline needed to be read with the text of the article, from which readers would have understood that the 98 per cent result came from a phone survey of its readers.

The survey question was ‘Should UK end all talk of deals and quit the EU now?’, and was printed on page seven of the previous day’s edition of the newspaper; readers had to pay to register their response to the question, and were asked to give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.

IPSO’s Complaints Committee did not accept the newspaper’s argument that because it ran a phone poll every day it was clear that the ‘poll’ referred to was a survey of its readers.

The Committee also took into account the fact that the poll had been presented as a significant political event, putting pressure on the government to leave the EU as soon as possible, and including responses to it from senior political figures.

In all the circumstances, the Committee took the view that the article gave the impression that it was reporting the significant results of a representative poll carried out by a third-party for the publication.

In fact, the poll was conducted through a premium rate phoneline, which allowed a self-selecting sample of the newspaper’s readers to express their views.

In these circumstances, the manner in which the poll was presented, was a breach of Clause 1. The online article, which reported that a ‘new Daily Express online poll’ had revealed that 98 per cent of people had said no to an EU deal, breached Clause 1 in the same manner as the print version. 

Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13 

See: Trump bans Muslims – and the press hails Boris for saving Mo Farah

2 Responses to “IPSO rules Daily Express ’98 per cent’ Brexit poll was bogus”

  1. Will

    I find it hard to believe that these popular so-called “newspapers” employ hugh numbers of the general public and they all seem to bow to the wishes of the biased, bigoted and self-serving owners. Surely the employees political views are the same as the public’s? It must be very hard for them sometimes to have to write such garbage and total lies just to keep a job.

  2. John Woods

    I was asked in a discussion some 30 years ago what the education system should achieve before I was satisfied that it was fit for purpose. I responded that a well educated population would not read the Daily Express or the Daily Mail. There were howls of “I read the Daily Express and find nothing wrong with it” from other members of the discussion group. I still hold to my opinion.

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