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YouGov is an international Internet-based market research and data analytics firm, headquartered in the UK, with operations in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.[2]

YouGov Survey plc
Public limited company
Traded as LSEYOU
Industry Market research
Opinion polling
Founded 2000; 18 years ago (2000)
Founders Stephan Shakespeare
Nadhim Zahawi
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Area served
Key people
Stephan Shakespeare (CEO)
Roger Parry (Chairman)
Revenue £116.6 million (2018)[1]
£19.7 million (2018)[1]
Number of employees
816 (2018)[1]



YouGov was founded in the UK in May 2000 by Stephan Shakespeare and Nadhim Zahawi.

In April 2005, YouGov became a public company listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.[3] Major shareholders of the company are BlackRock and Standard Life Aberdeen.[4]

Stephan Shakespeare has been YouGov's Chief Executive Officer since 2010.[5] Roger Parry has been YouGov's Chairman since 2007.[6] Political commentator Peter Kellner was YouGov's President until he stepped down in 2016.[7]

YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council.[8]

Links to the UK Conservative PartyEdit

Shakespeare, the firm's CEO, once stood as a Conservative Party candidate for Colchester; he was also a Conservative Party pollster.

Co-founder Nadhim Zahawi has been the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for Stratford-on-Avon since 2010, after the retirement of previous MP John Maples. He joined the Conservative government in 2010.[9]

Roger Parry was commissioned in 2009 by the Conservative Party to write a report on the future of local media.[10][11] His proposals on local TV were subsequently adopted as Government policy by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.[12][13]


YouGov specialises in market research through online methods. The company’s methodology involves obtaining responses from an invited group of Internet users, and then weighting these responses in line with demographic information. It draws these demographically-representative samples from a panel of 5 million people worldwide including over 800,000 people in the UK.[14] As YouGov's online methods use no field-force, its costs are lower than some face-to-face or telephone methods.


YouGov has claimed that its opinion polls are most accurate when compared to its competitors and in particular that its online methodology is more accurate than traditional polling methods.[15] Critics have argued that, as not all of the public have access to the Internet, online samples cannot accurately reflect the views of the population as a whole.[16] YouGov counters that they have a representative panel and they are able to weight their data appropriately to reflect the national audience that they are aiming to poll.[17]

Opinion poll analysis website FiveThirtyEight assigns YouGov a grade of B, calling 88% of races correctly, and with virtually no partisan bias.[18]

In May 2017, it correctly predicted, on the basis of its new polling model, that the result of the United Kingdom general election, 2017 would be a hung parliament. The model also correctly identified that some seats would be closer than expected, such as Kensington and Canterbury. This was described as "brave" but turned out to be right.[19]


In 2006 YouGov began expanding outside the UK through acquisitions and acquired Dubai-based research firm Siraj for $1.2 million plus an eventual earn out of $600,000. In 2007 they added Palo Alto, CA based US research firm Polimetrix for approximately $17 million, Scandinavian firm Zapera for $8 million and German firm Psychonomics for $20 million. In 2009 and 2010, YouGov expanded its US operations with two acquisitions; first buying Princeton, NJ research firm Clear Horizons for $600,000 plus an earn out of $2.7 million, then Connecticut-based research firm Harrison Group for $6 million with a $7 million earnout. In 2011, YouGov acquired Portland, OR-based firm Definitive Insights for $1 million with a potential $2 million earn out. In 2011, YouGov made its first organic expansion by opening an office in Paris, France. In January 2014, YouGov entered the Asia Pacific region with the acquisition of Decision Fuel for an estimated consideration of approximately £5 million.[20]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "YouGov Preliminary Results 2018" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  2. ^ "YouGov offices". Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  3. ^ "London Stock Exchange - YouGov". London Stock Exchange. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  4. ^ "YouGov - Shareholders". YouGov: What the world thinks.
  5. ^ "Zahawi stands for parliament and steps down as yougov ceo". Research Live. 2010-02-22.
  6. ^ "Parry takes post at YouGov". The Guardian. 2007-01-15.
  7. ^ "YouGov President Peter Kellner to Step Down". MR Web. 2016-02-15.
  8. ^ "British Polling Council Officers and Members".
  9. ^ Smith, Chris (2017-04-28). "Tories re-select all three south Warwickshire candidates - Stratford Herald". Stratford Herald. Retrieved 2017-09-12.
  10. ^ Maisie McCabe Troubleshooter April 21st 2009
  11. ^ Creating Viable Local Multi-Media Companies in the UK Archived 18 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine. July 2009
  12. ^ "Tories call for American-style local news channels by Andrew Porter". Daily Telegraph=UK. 14 July 2009.
  13. ^ "Tories plan 80 city-based TV stations for local news by Dan Sabbagh". The Times=UK. 15 July 2009.
  14. ^ "YouGov Panel". Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  15. ^ "YouGov Panel Methodology - research Q&A's". Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  16. ^ "Livingstone criticises YouGov". Pink News. 2008-04-07.
  17. ^ "YouGov Panel Methodology". Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  18. ^ King R, Scheinkman A, Silver N. "FiveThirtyEight's Pollster Ratings". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  19. ^ "YouGov's poll predicting a hung parliament is certainly brave". Guardian. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  20. ^ "Acquisition of Decision Fuel". Investegate. 2014-01-09. Retrieved 2014-01-20.

External linksEdit