The latest Westminster voting intentions poll by BMG for the Independent shows support for The Brexit Party is waning, but is this a true representation?
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The recent BMG poll, that indicates how respondents would vote in a general election, shows that support for The Brexit Party has slipped by four points from 18% in Jun to 14% in July – as can be seen on the right hand side of this graph.
And this comes after a poll I talked about last week saying that Tory members would once again vote for ther party if Brexit were delivered.
And its appears from the results here that the main beneficiaries from the fall-out of numbers is that the Tories have clawed back a couple of percent to go from 26% to 28% and the Lib Dems have also gained a percent to go from 17% to 18% and UKIP support has also increased by a percent.
But this result has caused a bit or ire from Nigel Farage, the leader of The Brexit Party, because he believes his party was not 'prompted' properly by the pollsters.
When taking part in this poll the 1,532 respondents would be asked to choose between Labour, Conservative, the Lib dems, the SNP (if living in Scotland), Plaid Cymru (if living in Wales), or 'another party'.
Only if they chose 'another party' would they have been presented with the option of choosing The Brexit Party. Or for that matter Change UK, the Green Party or UKIP.
BMG Research explains this methodology as follows:
"Our current question structure is based from our analysis of our 2017 general election polling where we overestimated the support for the Greens and UKIP. There is evidence to suggest that prompting for smaller parties, or those yet to contest General elections has led to respondents being more likely to overstate their support for these parties when compared to the election result. Indeed, it is also worth noting that most pollsters, including BMG, overestimated Brexit Party support at the recent European Elections."
But Nigel Farage has responded that as far as he is concerned this is fake polling and he told the Express:
"It is staggering that despite being the biggest political party in the EU, BMG do not include Brexit Party with the other major parties in their polls and instead put us down in the ‘other’ category – alongside the Greens and failed Change UK.
"This looks like a clear establishment attempt to suppress our polling numbers. If companies like BMG do not consider winning a national election enough reason to prompt for The Brexit Party in Westminster voting intentions, then we consider all research conducted in this dishonest way to be fake polling."
He also said that he had talked to Conservative Party donors who would flock to The Brexit Party in their droves if Brexit is not delivered on the 31st of October. "I've met them already." He said.
The BMG poll also showed that when asked the usual Leave or Remain question, 53% said they wanted to Remain and 47% said they wanted to Leave.
Now, does that mean that the country has changed its mind? Or that within a very small sample of people a slightly higher number of them were Remain minded, which explains the result that The Brexit Party saw.
I suppose it depends on whether you trust polls or not, really.
And it is interesting to look back at the polls just before the 2016 EU referendum, where you see that Remain had the edge there too – just before they lost.
But let's look at another poll just out.
The YouGov Westminster Voting Intentions poll out yesterday of 1,671 respondents, puts the Tories ahead unchanged on 24%, The Brexit Party second dropping two points to 21%, Labour up two points to 20% and the Lib dems down one point on 19%.
On this one you would assume a more pro-Brexit attitude amongst the polling respondents, although The Brexit Party has lost a little ground.
And, I have point out that, unlike the BMG poll, the YouGov poll does 'prompt' The Brexit Party as a main option. So, if there were an establishment plot to suppress The Brexit Party polling numbers as Nigel Farage seems to suggest, then wouldn't it also apply to the YouGov polls?
I have to ask.