The BPC is investigating the contentious YouGov polls used by Conservative schemers to demand the removal of Rishi Sunak.
Two surveys, reportedly conducted by an undisclosed organization called the Conservative Britain Alliance and facilitated by Tory member David Frost, created a stir in Westminster after being released in the Daily Telegraph last week.
It was predicted that the Conservative party may face a defeat similar to that of 1997, but there is a chance for victory if Sunak were to be replaced by a potential leader who implements tax cuts and stricter immigration policies.
The results were announced with much excitement on the cover of the Telegraph alongside an article by Frost stating that Sunak’s current approach was causing the party’s downfall. This week, Conservative MP Simon Clarke referenced the survey’s results in an article advocating for Sunak’s removal.
There have been inquiries regarding the source of funding for the survey, which is estimated to have cost a significant amount of money. The Conservative Britain Alliance is reportedly made up of a coalition of Conservative party contributors.
During its typical meeting on Wednesday, the BPC addressed the dispute and inquired with YouGov about any evidence proving its affiliation with the Conservative Britain Alliance, as reported by a committee member.
According to the BPC regulations, it is mandatory for YouGov to disclose the poll’s information, including the identity of their client, stated Nick Moon, the BPC’s secretary.
“They have stated that the client is the Conservative Britain Alliance. We are simply verifying their formal employment with this organization.”
According to YouGov, they have consulted the BPC and have been assured that they have adhered to the regulations during the previous week.
The BPC, or the Business and Polling Council, is an organization that supports openness within polling companies. However, it does not hold any official authority. According to its principles, clients are not required to be registered businesses or hold any official position in order to request polling services. Pollsters are not obligated to disclose the source of funding for their work.
Moon stated that as long as the Conservative Britain Alliance was the client, they would be following the rules. He also mentioned that if he were to create the St Albans Walrus Protection Society, that organization could commission polls on walruses and any polling company would be willing to accept payment for this service.
The situation has been a source of frustration for YouGov and has prompted demands for better transparency regarding the funding of polls.
On Wednesday, YouGov released a statement addressing the backlash surrounding a portion of their survey where participants were asked to select between Labour leader Keir Starmer and a hypothetical Conservative leader who promised tax cuts, immigration reductions, and shorter NHS waiting times. Pollster and political science professor at the University of Manchester, Rob Ford, described the question as “one of the most poorly-designed polling questions I have ever encountered.”