CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

'PLAYING WITH POUNDS AND PERCENTAGES'

Evening Standard – 15 October 1998

If you ask biased questions you get dodgy answers. Peter Kellner reports (8 October) that 43 percent agree that "it would be better for Britain to join the European single currency sooner rather than later in order to get the best deal for Britain".

The results of an ICM poll on 5th October, which I commissioned, were not skewed by such bias. ICM asked: "Do you think that Britain should replace the pound with a Single European Currency?" The overall results were: YES 32 percent; NO 56 percent; DON'T KNOW 11 percent. Of those expressing a view, the figures were: YES 36 percent and NO 64 percent.

For Conservative voters the results were: YES 16 percent; NO 76 percent; DON'T KNOW 8 percent. Of Labour voters 42 percent support replacing the pound with the euro, but 47 percent oppose this, with 11 percent undecided.

The most enthusiastic pro-euro party is the Liberal Democrats, but just 38 percent of their voters want to scrap the pound, whilst 51 percent want to keep it and 11 percent are undecided.

It is strange how the press is prepared to report the twisted results of flawed polling questions while ignoring the accurate results of objective polling.

Dr JULIAN LEWIS MP
Cadnam, Hampshire