The BNP/Question Time story arc has followed a fairly predictable trajectory.
It began with several weeks of pre-show outrage mixed with libertarian nose-holding. This was followed by on the day protests, the 105 minutes of television, the reaction and the backlash to the reaction.
But now an unexpected epilogue.
Sunny Hundal over at Liberal Conspiracy notes that one of the administrators on the BNP website recently set up a page on its social network titled: YOUGOV – Let’s increase BNP’s support in polls, and raise money at the same time!. (note, this links to the BNP site).
The post urges BNP members to sign up to YouGov so a. the pollster won’t ignore them in subsequent sampling and b. they can raise money for the party via regular £50 participation payments.
Gaming YouGov? This feels like a conspiracy too far. Only one place to turn: the Political Betting blog where Mike Smithson writes:
Such ideas have been floated from time to time and clearly all online pollsters which use polling panels are vulnerable. There was talk of UKIP doing the same thing ahead of the 2004 Euro election. I’m emailed Peter Kellner [YouGov’s president] and I’m sure he’ll tell us that measures are in place to identify and deal with such approaches.
As a starting pointing the BNP might have had a better chance of succeeding if they hadn’t first put it on a website that anybody could find within a few seconds on Google.
We await the Kellner response.