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At least ComRes didn’t bring Nelson Mandela into its controversial poll

August 13th, 2019

When mentioning his name might get better results?

All the discussion over alleged leading questions in the ComRes poll have provided a peg fo me to highlight one of my favourite polls ever.

In the build-up in 2005 to the resolution London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics a poll was commissioned to try to show that people in the capital backed the idea. This was the series of questions in the order that they were put:-

“Are you aware that Nelson Mandela recently came out in support of London hosting the 2012 Olympic Games?” YES 60% NO 39%

“To what extent do you agree or disagree with Nelson Mandela’s view that because London is a diverse city, providing a home to hundreds of different nationalities, it would be the best place to hold the Olympic Games.” AGREE 72% DISAGREE 13%

Would you support or oppose London being chosen as the host city for the 2012 Olympic Games?” SUPPORT 79% OPPOSE 13%

A few years later the SNP specially commissioned YouGov poll over their handling of the release of the Lockerbie bomber. One finding was that voters in Scotland divided two to one in saying that the affair had enhanced Scotland’s reputation.

Just look at the question however. It read “Do you believe Nelson Mandela’s comments in support for the release of Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds has enhanced or damaged Scotland’s reputation internationally?”

I wonder what both the SNP and the London Olympic polls would have produced without the mention of Nelson Mandela?

Mike Smithson