Back in August there was a YouGov poll showing that 30% of people thought that Dr David Kelly was murdered. Following the publication of the post-mortem this week we asked if people thought it was right to release the post-mortem report (58% did) and repeated the same question as we asked in August on how people thought David Kelly died. The proportion of people thinking he was murdered has halved to 14%, the proportion thinking he committed suicide has gone from 32% to 52%. Just over a third said don’t know.

301 Responses to “14% still think David Kelly was murdered”

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  1. 14% +1 ;)

  2. 14% +1 + ANOTHER ONE.

    [Told you before Roland, Eoin can add himself because he’s not in Great Britain, but you’re already represented in the 14%! – AW ;) ]

  3. Maybe that 14% read the ludicrous two page article in the Guardian at the weekend. I was shocked at how inept it was, and just how credulous the reporter was. It’s sad that there are still 14% of people who are prepared to ignore the evidence but at least we’re going in the right direction.

  4. Even if he did take his own life, he was driven to it, and everyone knows where the responsibility for his sad death lies.

    And all for telling the truth.

  5. Eojn and Roland – Have a read of David Aronovotch’s excellent book “Voodoo Histories” then come back and post.

  6. John – look at the poll. The 52% who think he committed suicide is made up of 37% who thought he was driven to suicide by the pressure of the inquiry into the dossier and the events around it and 15% because he himself felt guilty.

    (And to echo Gaf’s recommendation, David Aaronovitch’s chapter on it is a very fine demolition, although it does stray too far into ad hominem attacks and outright mockery of Norman Baker at times – then again, it’s a polemic, not a forensic examination of the evidence, so that’s to be expected)

  7. Gaf, Have a read of Martin Dillon’s “The dirty War”, and then come back and post :)

  8. I’m not convinced about murder but ‘assisted’ or ‘coordinated’ suicide would get my vote…..

  9. @ Anthony W.

    Thank you.

    37% + 1

    I have just ordered the book online. :D

  10. EOIN
    Perhaps its our background ?

  11. Roland, Yes I think it is.

  12. @AW
    Sorry gov, its the Alzheimer’s.

  13. Roland/Eoin
    Police officers are notorious for thinking everyone is a criminal because they are surrounded by them everyday. Neil probably thinks our politicians are all criminals.
    Your backgrounds make you presume our politicians are all killers.
    Teachers on the other hand presume our politicians don’t do their jobs properly because they’re all doing whatever the politician’s equivalent is of having a quick fag behind the bike sheds.
    And they don’t do their homework.

  14. I wrote a quick fag….;)

  15. Julian Gilbert

    “having a quick fag behind the bike sheds.”

    Is this related to the schooling of the current Government? :-)

  16. OldNat,

    I posted a rather long post for you on the previous thread.

  17. Julian,

    I did not say who I thought killed him. Special Branch/Mi6 would be high up my admittedly speculative list.

  18. Eoin


  19. OLDNAT

  20. I thought there was something fishy-until Ken Clarke released the post-mortem report.

    I read all the commentary on it & changed my mind.

    However the reason for Dr. Kelly taking his own life hasn’t gone away.

  21. Eoin

    The earlier Scottish poll and the one reported in SoS were the same poll by the way. The original VI survey has disappeared from the YouGov archive and a replacement appeared dated today with the additional tables for First Minister etc.

    Going back to your fixation on the voters hiding their Lib Dem past, the tables show that ICM found more people admitting to voting Lib Dem in may than they would have expected, not less. It might mean their methods pick up more Lib Dems than another means of sampling would, but that’s a different story.

  22. Roger,

    Thanks for that. Tight seems to be the word in these tough times for the printed press. LDs come in above Quota on YG also… I am not explaining myself well on my suspicion..

    Try this..

    In Scotland late 1990s and Tory willing to admit he was a Tory must be a pretty hardened sort? Right? Let’s face it my son’s grandparents in Strathpeffer still keep their Tory allegiance pretty hush to this very day. Thus, the blues that did show up on polls in those days would have skewed the sub-questions… I think one side effect of the closet tory bashful brownite or lying lib phenomena is that what’s left in the polling ie the wheat and not the chaff.. are likely to present a more united front.

    In terms of VI, I am still scratching my head if there is any impact. They once deemed it serious enough to make allowance for the blue vote.. should we be now factoring it in to yellow? I think we possibly should. How we do it is another matter.

    Put it this way, were there to be an election in the morning, I’d bet my shorts that yellow would get 14% or above.

  23. Roger,

    As an addition to that, try this: Some of the members on the forum, who I wont name, Identified themselves as Libs in April/May 2010. After the coalition they never mentioned it again. Some have since morphed into soft reds, and now post as reds. Others are reticent about stating a party allegiance at all. I count 3 in the former category and 5 in the latter. If this is just a tiny sample, i ask myself whether it is like that up and down the country?

  24. I rarely post here, but I did vote as a Liberal Democract being more interested in Social Democracy, but without the sting of the Iraq war. I’ve also voted SNP in the past as I think, independent of whatever else they’ve done or said, they can’t back down on wanting independence.

    The thing is, it seems to me that the Social Democrats in the Lib Dems are being repressed, and if you repress something, it will bite you later, much harder than it would if you expressed it now.

    I really enjoy reading all of your posts.

  25. Significant,

    I read your post with a version of Byonce’s “All the closet libs, put your hands up, uh oh oh” ringing in my head :) I look forward to Hughes, Russell and Hancock biting when the occasion arises. That is if there is anything left of them, when the Murdoch press are finished.

  26. Worrying news today that despite the coalition’s statements last week the NHS is going to be short of £6 billion of funding by 2014-15 – I would think they are going to take this on board because, given the history of the Tories and the NHS, the last thing they will want is the media full of stories about waiting lists and vast queues in A and E.

  27. Populus relocate the dont knows but do so at a different ratio to ICM.

    If you admit ICM that you once voted Lib but aint sure who you’d vote for now, chances are they’ll reallocate you as 0.5% of a vote to yellow.

    If you admit to Populus that you once voted Lib but aint sure who you’d vote for now, chances are they’ll reallocate you as 0.3% of a vote to yellow.

    Populus got 15% for yellow / ICM 16%.

    Populus also weight your vote by likeliehood to vote.. e.g if your 10/10 likely to vote then your a full vote, if your 9/10 to vote your 0.9% of a vote etc. etc.

    On top of this, populus smooth the voting figures by using data from their previosu 20 polls and pinning 30% of the VI to the last election result. The purpose is to avoid the wide fluctuations we see with some other polling companies.

    So if you ever wonder why YG are as jittery as an infant with 2 espresso, this probably contributes to explaining whay, since YG take the respondents answers at face value, and exclude dont knows.

    Populus’s is probably a crafty way of ensuring they are enver too far out, YG’s run that risk, but also have a system in place that potentially allows them to be more accurate. Which is best, I think YG’s. If you take an average of YG’s weekly polls and plot them on a chart you are likely to be pretty close to the mark.

  28. Actually if the Kelly poll info shows anything, it’s that a well-constructed PR campaign can alter public perception. I didn’t think (on the whole) that Kelly was murdered and I still don’t, but equally I don’t think the newly released documents enlightened the matter either way or told us much new.

    There will be some who were suspicious of murder, just because of the fact that information was withheld and for whom the release of the information will relieve that suspicion. However there do still seem to be questions unanswered and odd circumstances. The favourable coverage of the release of post-mortem reports has however changed a lot of minds without that much justification.

    Having said that, the more strenuously David Aaronovich defends something the more suspicious I get about it, so it may be just me. :P

    I agree that there may be a problem now with “shy Lib Dems”. It’s just that it doesn’t show up in the ICM figures. You must remember as well that people may be more willing to admit to things in an internet poll (with privacy safeguards) or on an anonymous telephone call than they are in social settings or even on an internet discussion forum.

  29. I have no doubt that certain groups will murder if necessary, I just don’t see much benefit in murdering Kelly.

  30. Probably the same 14% of eccentrics who think George Bush organised 9/11, are convinced that the Apollo moon landings were staged in a TV studio in Elstree, think global warning is a left wing conspiracy to tax the great and the virtuous, rather think the earth may be flat and believe that Ann Widdicombe is, in fact, Wayne Rooney’s long lost and estranged mother (look closely and there are indeed distinct facial resemblances).

    I thought a reporter (ex Associated Newspapers, by the way, to give him some credibility) summed it up pretty well on the Today merogramme a few days ago. Apart from the lack of motive, opportunity and any supporting evidence, it’s an absolutely cut and dried murder case!!

    That said, in this strange old world, people will believe what they want to believe. Order an Inquiry until we get the verdict we want and rubbish every one that precedes it that gainsays the world as we’d like it to be! It’s called partisanship or, in it’s extreme form, blind prejudice.

    Desperate stuff that insults Dr Kelly’s bereaved family who, long ago, accepted the verdict outlined in the much maligned Hutton Inquiry. They haven’t persisted with this case, instead it’s been a motley cabal of Blair haters who refuse to accept the truth.

  31. Dr David Kelly was set-up & then abandoned by the people who were supposed to protect him.

    The journalist to whom he told the story, was given it in confidence & should have protected his source.

    When it came down to it, the journalist chose to protect himself & his career, rather than his source.

    Other journalists & researchers, the chaps who frame (if not make) the news, could totally empathise with the journalists situation… much more intuitive for them to blame the government, MI6, the CIA etc.

  32. I think he was murdered because on the day he was found, I heard a very early morning radio report from the scene that said he had been shot in the back of the head. I was so amazed that I called a witness who listened with me while it was discussed about whether someone could shoot themselves in the back of the head, and that Scotland Yard would be called in to take over the murder investigation from the local bobbies.

    Who killed him, or why, and why there has been such a cover-up we can only speculate. Just in case I disappear, I have left a detailed account of this in a safe place to be opened if I meet an untimely end. Sorry to sound melodramatic, but if ‘they’ can bump Kelly off they wouldn’t think twice about me.

  33. Crikey, I didn’t realise it was silly season…

  34. ‘more people admitting to voting Lib Dem in may than they would have expected, not less’

    wrote Roger M just to find out if I was reading his posts.

    I shall read *fewer* in future Roger – write out ‘I must not use pedantry to refute Howard’s corrections’ 100 times.

    Eoin, who is a worse culprit, but I forgive him as a foreign language speaker, should say 20 HMs or do 50 press-ups later when he goes to his gym.

  35. amber

    i notice that DC not only reads this site but that he seems to have a soft spot for you. today he announced support for targeted industries, not least of which was financial services in Edinburgh. so DC has personally guaranteed your job? will you be changing your allegiance?. if you do he might try to buy us off one by one.

  36. Have a proper poll tonight, or one about Father Christmas, the tooth fairy or Area 51?

  37. Well a lot of people think they have been on board a UFO and that Elvis is alive and well. No doubt some people believe the moon is made of blue cheese.

    I just wonder who is footing the bill for such surveys? Maybe themoney could be better spent?

  38. @Pete B “…if ‘they’ can bump Kelly off they wouldn’t think twice about me.”
    I don’t want to worry you, but from 30% to 14% in just 3 months? I’d keep quiet about it if I were you. Obviously they’ve been bumping off the people who say he was murdered. One by one.
    Maybe they’ve been doing in LD supporters too. ;)

  39. @Pete B

    You should be writing crime novels. Maybe you do!

  40. @ Richard in Norway

    ROFLOL :-)

    DC had to do something to make up for ‘scrapping’ my beloved Harriers. 8-)

  41. I think these revelations are useful, as all these people vote, so it is an indication of the amount of evidence people need in order to form an opinion on anything.

    The leading question introduced bias into the reaction. I am sure that a bald question 2 would have produced a percentage lower than 30 but higher than 14.

  42. Howard – Sometimes I think that nobody is reading. :( I was about to point that ICM weigh using likelihood producing non-integer results, and so “less” is correct, but I didn’t think I’d get it past you. And “May” should have had a capital letter.

    Valerie & Garry K

    The Sun paid for the Dr Kelly questions. Actually we all ought to be grateful for these surveys on what appear as irrelevant matters because they support the daily voting intention ones.

    If you look on the current archive, you’ll see that three different entries: “David Kelly”, “Progressive/regressive cuts” and Voting int.+ leaders” were all done on the same dates with the same sample size. They were all combined in the same survey e-mailing to the same people. It thus doesn’t usually cost YouGov much more to do three than one.

    Similarly last Thursday’s voting intentions were combined with the vital question of whether the woman who put the cat in the bin was given the right sentence.

  43. Actually I’m quite generous in my appreciation of politicians. I think they’re fairly poor at their job, but for the most part get into the business for the right reasons.

    “Small businessmen” are my bugbear….

  44. @Amber Star

    “When it came down to it, the journalist chose to protect himself & his career, rather than his source”

    You’re referring to the good Mr Andrew Gilligan here. He’s now the London editor of the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph and in a previous life, was an Evening Standard columnist, beloved of the right for consistently, and successfully, putting the boot into Ken Livingstone’s Mayoral campaign in 2008. Are we getting the picture here of this fine, objective and honourable journalist? You can just imagine his impartial and balanced insights into Blair’s Iraq policy, can’t you? Maybe he borrowed Jonathan Aitken’s sword of truth!!

  45. Con:- 40, Lab:- 38, LD:- 12, Approval:- -3

  46. @Roger Mexico

    Oh well if the sun want to coughup that’s fine by me. As you say, it pays for the stuff we geeks get hooked on! :-)

  47. Part of Kelly’s job description was to brief journalists/plant stories about WMD, and he had been doing this for many years… in connection with inspection regimes following the break-up of the Soviet Union, as well as in ME rogue states.

    He had been around for long enough to have been capable of writing the definitive history of WMD dissemination. The shock of his death was genuine in the UK.

  48. Nick H,

    Those poor paragons of virtue, two of our most upstanding and honest politicians besmirched by the nasty journalist man?
    Blair and Livingstone make Gilligan look like Mother Theresa.
    Spare the sanctimony……

  49. i still don’t get the motive for suiside, unless he was being threatened with being outed

    as a closet “cat binner” if he didn’t retract his comments on irak

    is there something we are not being told

  50. YG


    CSR will not gift reds a lead. for that, they need policies. The fact that gov. approv is still -3% might indicate that people are not happy with cuts but, for now, are prepared to swallow the pill.

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