Monday, May 17, 2010

Leading questions

Leading questions

There is a famous scene in Yes Minister where Bernard and Sir Humphrey demonstrate that opinion polls are a moveable feast – with the answers depending very much on the tone of the questions.  Bear that in mind when thinking about the set of polls in the Independent over the weekend that purported to show a swing in support away from the Liberal Democrats and towards Labour.  Because these are the questions that respondents were also asked to agree or disagree with:

By going into coalition with the Conservatives, the Lib Dems appear to have sold out on their principles.
The events of the last week have made be believe change to the voting system is more necessary than before.
I think Gordon Brown has behaved honourably during this week.
I believe Nick Clegg should have opted for a coalition with Labour rather than a deal with the Tories.

In my minds eye I can see the ghost of Horace Rumpole haul himself onto his back legs and snort – ‘Please don’t lead the witness’.  A finer set of leading questions it would be hard to imagine.


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