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. @ NeilA

    ““Small businessmen” are my bugbear….”

    Why?

  2. Socal Liberal

    “That’s different I think. ”

    The Fed is USA’s Central Bank & thus an organ of the State.

    When it “buys US bonds” , the Government is buying it’s own debt issuance-by creating new money/liquidity-ie “printing money”.

  3. Anthony,

    This mornings YG tables (and yesterdays), have heavily weighted the CDEs up. The 18-24s are very heavily weighted up and I note northerners tend to be weighted up. Are these normal occurrences? Does it matter?

  4. @Hooded Man

    “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……”

    Look, let’s be as non-partisan as we can here, even though that’s difficult when we have particularly strong opinions on these matters. The general point I was trying to make, and I didn’t think I was being sanctimonious in making it (but hey ho, there you go, I suppose), was that we should be careful in always attributing noble and honest motives to journalists whilst at the same time, almost automatically, traducing our democratically elected politicians. I think it’s lazy and self serving to always default to the position that our politicians are liars and charlatans, even those we fundamentally disagree with, and to always impugn their motives, however mistaken they may eventually prove to be. Blair and Livingstone, for all their faults, were/are democratically elected politicians, accountable to their electorates. In their cases, if I remember rightly, they were both quite good at getting elected, so not everybody, quite obviously, shared your disparaging view of them.

    As for journalists like Gilligan, and there are many equivalents on the left, my default position is scepticism. I think we’re entitled, indeed obliged, to continually question their motives and objectivity. They are immensely powerful yet almost totally unaccountable. Balanced, forensic investigative journalism, I have absolutely no problem with, and if it uncovers wrongdoing by our political masters, then all fine and good, but polemicists peddling half baked received wisdom and partial opinion are a different matter altogether. Fact is sacred, opinion on the other hand, though often interesting, diverting and entertaining, is not usually worth the paper it’s written on.

    Who came up with that pearler when talking about fact vs opinion? It went something like this, I think; “Opinions are like a*s*ho**s; we’ve all got one!” I like that, I really do. lol

  5. @SYZYGY
    The FTSE 100 index is mostly effected internationally because most corporations are multinational on that index and because of a bad day in the rest of the world the FTSE fell. The city did react well business confidence rose and sterling became stronger, I’m an economist and there is a good chance that the private sector will absorb the job loses from the public sector easily. The government is putting measures in place to encourage job creation and private sector growth. Jobs will not be hit hard by the CSR but welfare claimants will, but the government wants to make working more worthwhile than being on welfare and I’m in full support of this.I could be wrong but I think no double dip, unemployment will continue to fall and growth to remain moderate. Labour is really going to have to up it’s game and publish it’s own CSR otherwise they are going to become unelectable.

  6. @Richard
    Theer are so many things in your post I disagree with, or find ‘amusing’.

    “I’m an economist and there is a good chance that the private sector will absorb the job loses from the public sector easily.”

    Firstly your assertion (confession?) of being an economist might be construed by some as not being the best way to convince anyone of the merits of your arguments.

    Secondly, the second part of the senetence is non sequitur. And, moreover, it is incorrect…the private sector will not be absorbing job losses from the public sector.

    And finally you say “Labour is really going to have to up it’s game and publish it’s own CSR otherwise they are going to become unelectable.” You have no basis/evidence for this other than wishful thinking.

    Frankly, just partisan comments from beginning to end.

  7. Richard,

    Reds simply setting out their stall in policy terms is enough to qualify for electavility. Publication of historical documents, if at all they existed, is not a requirement. Blues detailed pre May 2010

    Inheritance,
    corporation,
    council tax freeze,
    marriage tax,
    NI reverse
    and ‘bulk’ of deficit

    That is a reasonable detail of future plans. But they did not detail VAT. Which it must be accepted they pretty quickly moved to increase upon assuming power. Labour will have to detail something on taxation, espcially given that these (bar marriage) boosted blue support. If reds want that boost, they’ll have to seek to emulate. But CS R, what’s that? It’s in the past.

  8. Eoin –

    Quick answers are Yes, and No.

    Detailed answers are that the class and age weightings are pretty normal, the North wasn’t particularly heavily weighted anyway. Almost all pollsters, telephone or online, almost always have to heavily upweight under 25s, they are tricky to get. On class YouGov normally upweights C2 and DEs and downweights AB and C1s. In contrast phone pollsters normally have a different pattern, and have to downweight ABs and DEs and heavily upweight C1 and C2s.

    None of these things really matter that much. What is important is what targets you weight to, not how much weighting it takes to get there. Having to use lots of weighting reduces the effective sample size of polls and therefore slightly increases the volatility of polls. Obviously there are limits to this – if you find yourself using huge weighting factors of 10 or so the polls is going to be pretty ropey – but within normal limits it is of little consequence.

  9. Anthony

    Sorry, I obviously did not make myself clear enough. I’m suggesting that the there are people, who would reply 7, 8 or 9 to likelihood to vote with other pollsters, who are saying “Don’t Know” to YouGov because they are not absolutely certain that they will vote.

    Politically these are probably core, long-term Lib Dem voters who have become disillusioned with the coalition. They probably would vote Lib Dem in the end, but may not vote at all in protest.

    The other pollsters are downgrading their votes slightly, but YouGov is omitting them altogether. This could explain the difference.

  10. Anthony,

    Thanks for that. I noticed the overall sample size was comparatively speaking humungous. The ‘theoretical’ MoE on that must be pretty small anyways….

  11. Richard
    “I think no double dip, unemployment will continue to fall and growth to remain moderate.”

    Did you see the WPP results & Sir Martin Sorrell’s comments.?

    WPP is a global bellweather company.

    Straws in the wind-how soon before they make a haystack ? :-)

  12. “bellwether” -!!

  13. Roger –

    Nope, that isn’t it. How likely people are to vote is conceptually very different to who’ll they’ll vote for if they did. Anyway, the clincher is that because YouGov do only ask the likelihood to vote question at certain points we’d have noticed if adding it in changed the way people answer the main voting intention question. It doesn’t.

  14. I am a suspicous sort so forgive me.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that one of our polling companies is currently conducting a poll, measuring Simon Hughes’s popularity against Nick Clegg as to who is the most preferable leader.

    These types of polls are only a matter of time, but in truth I expected them much further into the election cycle. It is not clear if this poll even exists or will be published, but there is enough in it to make me suspicous that it is being undertaken.

  15. Nick H,

    It was a rather pious post you made with references to ‘swords of truth’, ‘this fine, objective and honourable journalist’ while also adopting a partisan stance with comments such as ‘beloved of the right’ and suggestions he was not capable of ‘impartiality and balance’

    Livingstone was voted out partly because of the investigative work Gilligan conducted on the ‘questionable’ relationship with Lee Jasper. And we all know that the intelligence on Iraq was misleading at best and contrived at worst, and without the work Gilligan did we may not have known how far Blair was prepared to go to justify war in Iraq.
    Don’t forget as well that it was the Govt who first leaked by affirmation that Kelly was the source, as Campbell vowed to ‘f*ck Gilligan’.
    The subsequent Hutton report was an embarrassing whitewash of all but the BBC. A sorry episode, and sorriest of all for Kelly’s family, as the full wrath of Campbell et al was trained on him, with tragic results.

    Of course there are journalists who create stories where there are none, and I’m sure Gilligan is not entirely innocent of that in all cases. But there was enough of a story with both TB and KL to warrant more light to be shed on them..

  16. Eoin

    “I have a sneaking suspicion that one of our polling companies is currently conducting a poll, measuring Simon Hughes’s popularity against Nick Clegg as to who is the most preferable leader.”

    The cause of yoru suspicion?

  17. Mike, I’d prefer to keep stum about that :)

  18. Mike, or should that be Shtum?

  19. Eoin,

    I’m sure it has not escaped your attention that the LDs polled by my reckoning between 12.24 and 12.46% last night.
    Knocking on the door of a 13….. ;-)

  20. Hooded,

    Without the exact numbers of Donk Knows Would not Votes and Others it is impossble to get an exact figure. I had

    yellow 12+
    red 38+
    blue 40+

    Is that right? Could you give me the blue/red range…

  21. Eoin
    I thought that would your response.

  22. Anthony

    The points you’re making are generally fair enough, but I think this is a new phenomenon – at least for the Lib Dems . It only affects those who are normally Lib Dem voters so the psychology is less “who shall I vote for?” than “shall I vote as I usually do?”

    Also I think it’s only happened since the coalition formed, so it wouldn’t have appeared the last time you looked at likelihood – people may answer differently in the run up to actual elections (rather than a theoretical one “tomorrow”) anyway.

    I can see why YouGov doesn’t ask about likelihood normally. When you also ask consumer and non-political opinion questions, you may get more spontaneous and genuine responses to voting intention etc. Using likelihood, past voting etc may spoil this spontaneity.

    We’re probably going to have to agree to disagree on this one. :)

  23. @Colin

    ‘bellwether’

    Your correction made me curious about the word. My many years in Shepherds Bush had somewhat surprisingly left me very ignorant on ovine matters. Thanks.

  24. Mike N,

    Am I that bad? lol

  25. @Hooded Man

    “Livingstone was voted out partly because of the investigative work Gilligan conducted on the ‘questionable’ relationship with Lee Jasper.”

    You rather make my point. Here we had London’s only daily paper (not much choice in reading material there, I don’t think), the Evening Standard, basically deciding that they wanted Livingstone out and Johnson in. They conducted an endless campaign of vilification and defamation against Livingstone and journalists like Gilligan, loyal and true as ever to the people who were paying them, did their masters bidding. If I remember rightly,the Lee Jasper case was never proven and was, rather typically, a hotchpotch of innuendo and insinuation. Still as you rightly say, it did great damage to Livingstone and helped the Sandard get their man in.

    Ah, the joys of democracy, aided and abetted by our free and balanced press. I wonder what favours the Standard are calling in now their man Boris is safely installed? Just a thought.

  26. Eoin,

    This may attract reproach from AW but by my reckoning you can narrow the sample size using the parties poll numbers, even if you don’t know don’t knows.

    Blue 40%. 836 weighted. Sample size must be between 2,064 and 2,116 s blue must be between 39.5% and 40.49999%
    Red 38%. 800 weighted. Sample 2,078 to 2,133
    Yellow 12%. 259 weighted. Sample 2,072 to 2,252.

    The range of sample must be the innermost ends of each range for all parties to have polled the numbers, so sample narrowed to 2,078 to 2,116. Outside of that and at least one of the parties would change % they polled.
    So yellow would be 259/2116 to 259/2078 – 12.24 to 12.46%
    Blue 39.51 to 40.23
    Red 37.80 to 38.49%

    Blue and red have wider % gaps but this is just because of the larger polled %

  27. Watching PMQs, I think Cameron’s patronising attitude to the Leader of the Opposition is overbearing and even rather unpleasant and if Cameron goes on like this at PMQs he’s going to lose quite a few brownie points.

  28. Hooded,

    :) A daily one of those would be much appreciated :)

    My own hunch on yellow (draw from observing cross breaks on a daily basis, which I am not supposed to do) is that this score for them is at the upper end of their support. I would not be surprsied if tonite returns an 11%.

    Blue will be interesting tonight… they have gone under 40 five times since September but not once since Child benefit announcements, will tonight be the night? Persoanlly I think a 41% blue is more likely but there you go…

    If yellow fall back to 11% and red don’t prosper with at least a 39%, they’ll be rueful.

    I have a couple of things more to weigh up before I give my guesstimate for later but at the moment I’d be willing to stretch it to a potential 42% blue/ 38% red/ 11% yellow.

  29. @davidb

    not sure what you mean by brownie points…but if you refer to the polls or an election,i can remember william hague quite regularly whip Tony Blair around the commons with no great improvement to his election cause.

    Truth be told Ed’s going to have to do alot better than to repeat “this is Prime ministers questions” over and over,especially after he replied in pretty decent detail.

  30. Nick Hadley

    I wonder what favours the Standard are calling in now their man Boris is safely installed? Just a thought

    Well According to articles in The Guardian and Time Out London, [then ES Editor, Veronica Wadley] was strongly influenced by the need to renew Associated Newspaper’s multi-million pound contract to deliver the Metro free paper in London Underground stations in 2010, a decision within the gift of the Mayor(Wikipedia). Wadley has also since (among some controversy) been appointed head of London Arts Council – though it’s not that well paid.

    On the other hand you could argue that Wadley was showing an admirable commitment to investigative journalism (she is after all married to Tom Bower) and that Gilligan continues to do good investigative work on a range of topics – he’s just been highly commended in the Paul Foot Awards.

    In truth I wonder how much difference the Standard’s coverage made. It became a bit of a joke in the end and Livingstone was hardly an unknown quantity for Londoners. I suspect the real reason he lost was because May 2008 was the lowest poll ratings for Labour in the last parliament and even Ken’s personal vote couldn’t overcome the national swing. By the way does anyone know of any polls were done showing how Livingstone would have done if he had stood as an independent again?

    Of course since then Boris has shown himself just as skilled at picking deputies, cosying up to property developers, and going for totemic, over-expensive projects that don’t do much for Londoners (Olympics, CrossRail). In truth voters are probably less involved in local/regional politics in London than elsewhere and Ken should sweep back in on national swing, freeing Boris up for his 2014 leadership bid.

  31. Colin
    “bellwether” -!!

    It made my little nit-picking heart swell with joy to read that. Sometimes pedantry is heroic (and knowledgeable).

  32. DavidB & Bullman –

    I really don’t encourage people posting about who they think did well or badly at PMQs. It does tend to just be Labour supporters saying how well they thought Miliband did/how badly Cameron did and Conservatives supporters saying vice-versa, which really doesn’t enlighten anyone.

    If you are a regular poster whose political allegiences are known, we can probably predict who you thought did well or badly at PMQs without you going to the needless time and trouble of making a comment.

  33. At the previous PMQs Ed M focused on withdrawal of child benefit for high earners. This time he focused on the £400 a week limit on housing benefit. Both are quite defendable policies and are quite popular, in a context where substantive cuts are inevitable. I have to say that I have sympathy with both.

    So why focus on these, rather than the 100s of other proposals from Osbourne that are nasty, vindictive, unfair and affect far more people? I don’t know, but it’s strategically inept.

  34. Sorry Anthony, although my post came after yours I didn’t see your comment, and I’m certainly not trying to contradict your point. However, I hope it’s allowable, from the red corner, to criticise Ed M for his strategic lack of nous.

  35. Aleksandar

    “My many years in Shepherds Bush had somewhat surprisingly left me very ignorant on ovine matters. Thanks.”

    A response which I enjoyed very much Aleksandar :-)

  36. Roger

    The thought of your heart swelling with joy at one of the few occasions when I bothered to check my appalling spelling, is very satisfying.

    I’m glad it gave you pleasure :-)

    I cannot, sadly, promise to please your nit-picking heart very often !

  37. Just had to lookup ‘bellwether’ in my dictionary and found this example:

    “Basildon is now the bellwether of Britain’s voting behaviour.”

    I wonder if this is still true.

  38. RE PMQ-and leaving “who was best ” severely aside :-

    It was an interesting exchange because it was fought on the vexed battle field of “fairness”.

    EM sought to find unfairness in a highly focussed, single aspect of alleged unfairness to recipients of HB .

    DC countered by asserting unfairness to non-recipients of HB (who pay their own housing costs,) by comparing what they can , on average, afford with what the State was willing to provide as welfare benefit.

    This tussle over the definition of what constitutes fairness, and to whom, is a good thing in my view, and I think we will hear more of it.

  39. Eoin

    “A daily one of those would be much appreciated”

    No problem. I know you love your answers to 2 decimal place :-)

  40. @Colin
    “This tussle over the definition of what constitutes fairness, and to whom, is a good thing in my view, and I think we will hear more of it.”

    I agree. To be fair, I find it extraordinary that some claimants can receive very large amounts in HB, but I wouldn’t say it was ‘unfair’ that they are able claim this. One has to look at the circumstances.

    So, like you I welcome this tussle. Quiet how it will play out in the mindset of the public remains to be seen. I recognise that some will view the gov’s position as ‘correct’ whereas others will take the opposite view.

    Behind the scenes the gov will be busy facing down its potential rebels, and maybe preparing to lessen the impact of the proposals. A U-turn this early will look bad, IMO. But being inflexible and not listening to the arguments raised against the proposals will also damage the gov and perhaps give new meaning to the epithet ‘nasty party’.

  41. I have followed this site for some time as I am a data analyst and like the idea of a non-partisan place where current political policy is discussed within the context of measured public opinion. What I find is (with some exceptions) a place where the data is used to confirm pre-held opinion (or what someone here less diplomatically called ‘blind prejudice’). It is not enlightening at all to read such posts (although sometimes entertaining).

    Many of the responses to the David Kelly poll have highlighted this for me. From an evidential standpoint Dr Kelly’s death never seemed a very good candidate for a grand ‘secret-state’ conspiracy. More a messy, tragic human drama (see Tom Mangold). But 14% continue to believe what tthey believe, and what they believe has little to do with the facts of the case.

  42. Hooded,

    Better than chocolate :)

  43. Disullusioned Lurker – vote Green :)
    ________________________________

    In many ways the passing of the CSR is a blessing for Labour. It has nothing to do with the cuts or consequences of the cuts per say. I largely think we have to set that by the wayside until at least the third week of Q1.
    No there is something else now going on, which is much more potentially advantageous.
    ________________________________________
    • The Uk as a pluralist democracy has literally millions of micro groups with various interests. The government have to deal with all of those queries many times over, every day, in virtually every department. The stakeholder society, logically, has to train its fire on the government. The passing of CSR has opened a valve, created a vaccum, into which all of that now pours.
    • EU budgets, changes to lisbon, CBI speeches, Prison statisitcs, civil rights lobbies, enviromental groups.. There is an infinite amount of promotional and sectional interests whom the government now have the job of keeping happy.
    __________________________________________________________
    That can be a very tough job, which I liken to going weekly shopping with my son.
    1. We enter the yoghurt aisle – he wants cadbury’s flake yoghurts, he gets tesco mouse.
    2. We enter the crisp aisle – he wants those thai sweet chilli ones, he gets corn snacks.
    3. we enter the drinks aisle – he wants Lucozade/powerade, he gets apple juice.
    4. I could go on (cocopops/ chocolate etc.) but you get the picture..

    • By the time we get out of tescos, I’m drained and the bad guy, he feels wronged because he’s been told no more times than a rave anthem, he comes away feeling shortchanged. from time to time there is a showdown (Ghurkas et al) he occasionally wins, on the other occasions, a sense of injustice , or daddy doesn’t care builds up.
    _______________________________________________________________________________
    CSR prevented that build up.. a bit like Xmas does. He gives me grief to buy a toy in December, I tell him to wait until santa comes.. but in January what do I tell him? We’ve all found ourselves buying toys in Jan, when you know the toy box is full. Metaphorically speaking the CSR (Xmas) has been and gone. All those sectional interest groups are now compiling/launching/lobbying there shopping lists…
    Thank God I have only one son :) How well the government show they can listen, compromise, balance interests, to halt the slow burn of resentement, injustice, derison, will to a large extent dictate the outcome of 2015.

  44. @MIKE N
    The concept of not wishing to pay more than £20,000 PA in housing benefit to an unemployed person, particularly if that unemployed person is not indigenous, will NOT be adjudged as “nasty” by any but the most bitter anti – coalitionists. A working person who earns an ordinary living wage will not flock to Labours cause because a bloke who does nothing, lives in a house in a much better part of town based on a state hand out.

    Anthony Wells has just (quite rightly) made a comment about PMQ judgements. Oooh wasn’t Cameron rubbish, God, Milibands a fool ect ect. IMPO comments which imply that a government which does not pay over £20,000 PA in housing benefit to the unemployed is in some way “nasty”, is making a not so much partisan point, as a mental health point.

    This benefit increased by over 50% under the last government, whilst British boys died in Afghanistan for want of equipment.

  45. Many of the responses to the David Kelly poll have highlighted this for me. From an evidential standpoint Dr Kelly’s death never seemed a very good candidate for a grand ‘secret-state’ conspiracy. More a messy, tragic human drama (see Tom Mangold). But 14% continue to believe what tthey believe, and what they believe has little to do with the facts of the case.

  46. Is it fair that A is evicted because a housing benefit cap has been introduced?

    It is unfair that B has to pay tax for A’s housing benefit.

    Therefore it is fair that A is evicted.

    Cameron logic?

  47. @Disillusioned Lurker

    “From an evidential standpoint Dr Kelly’s death never seemed a very good candidate for a grand ‘secret-state’ conspiracy. More a messy, tragic human drama (see Tom Mangold). But 14% continue to believe what tthey believe, and what they believe has little to do with the facts of the case.”

    By some distance, the most sensible and balanced comment on this thread thus far, and much better and more articulately put than my couple of earlier and inept attempts to say very much the same thing!

    On the evidence of your post, I hope you contribute more regularly in the future because it would appear you have a lot to offer.

    Become “illusioned” and stop “lurking” in the shadows, man!

    (Apologies for earlier post . I cut and pasted myself into oblivion with that one!)

  48. @ BILLY BOB
    Why dont you find a real cause to defend ? Can you see how devastated a couple in a Hackney council flat will be, when they read in the currant bun on their lunch break, that an family of 8 with an unemployed mother and farther, will have to leave their Islington house which cost tax payers £160,000 PA. For that matter, £60,000 PA. For that matter £40,000 PA.
    That dear boy is Camerons logic.

  49. @Eoin Clarke

    A fine post that last one and further evidence that you’re returning to form. Is the sea air in Ulster enjoying rarefied ozone levels at the moment or is it just that you’ve found it impossible to please all of the people all of the time and have given up the futile attempt to do so? I’ve misquoted old Abe Lincoln a little here, but he was right with that much quoted old aphorism, you know!!.

  50. Nick,

    Unless you were not aware, I don’t court favour. Thus, I would prefer it if you view my cranium and triangulated and stuff in nether areas, as you once did.

    I noted Peter Mandleson congratulated Ed Miliband with having a good start thus far. I treated that kiss of death in a similar manner as I do your last post.

    I’ll plough my own furrow thank you. :)

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