I was reminded today about a high-profile BBC programme from 2005 called How Euro Are You?.
With the aid of pollsters the BBC 'found' that 57% of the British public wanted to "integrate fully" with the EU and that a mere 10% of the British public wanted to leave the EU. That, of course, was no more representative of the actual public mood back then than it is now.
That in turn reminded me of that notorious Newsnight panel, also aided by pollsters, which produced shows of hands that went overwhelmingly against sovereignty mattering when it came to what mattered in the EU referendum and which contained as many people who said they felt 'European' first as felt 'British' first (a point of view that has always been a tiny minority view).
And then there was the Walsall North panel on Newsnight during the 2017 general election, chosen (of course) with the help of pollsters, which left viewers with the strong feeling that the sitting Labour MP was about to be re-elected in an absolute landslide. Not one of the chosen members of the public said they would be voting Conservative. In a huge stroke of irony for Newsnight that Labour MP was actually one of the very few Labour MPs to lose his seat in 2017 to the Conservatives (with a 6.1% swing).
And I've just remembered this today...Back in February 2016 I moaned about a Mark Easton report for the main BBC One news bulletins and the BBC News Channel in a piece I called Mark Easton wins it for the EU?. Mark's voter panel from Lichfield, selected by pollsters, produced a majority for Remain. The actual result from Lichfield, on June 23rd (on a massive 80% turnout), was 59% for Leave, 42% for Remain.
Why does the BBC keep producing 'voter panel/public opinion' results that are completely at variance with reality - and, even worse, invariably completely at variance with reality in very particular directions?
Does anyone know of any counter-examples?