Last week we saw the Daily Express base a very misleading front page story on a ludicrously flawed piece of research conducted by some eurosceptic politicians.
And in the run up to the election we're likely to hear lots of MPs quoting their own research or passing on to media the results of local polls and surveys. But we should be wary. To say the questions in such surveys are often loaded is an understatement, as this effort (below) from Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell shows.
For example, question eight is clumsily designed to show there is little support for the Human Rights Act. Beneath a statement which says "Britain must stand firm against terrorism and extremism", the survey makes people choose either "Yes - Protect British people against evil!" or "No - human rights are more important".
Take a second to read the questions and then imagine how Rosindell might have reported back the findings of such a skewed survey to constituents or the media:
Of course, MPs like to have a ready supply of apparent facts and figures to drop into their media interviews, press releases or campaign literature and such skewed surveys are useful in ensuring they always have the apparent facts and figures they want.
After sharing the above image on Twitter, one respondent highlighted another example of a skewed survey from their local MP who set various questions about local services and issues but apparently only provided positive answer options in the multiple choice format.
It is of course inevitable that 100 per cent of respondents to this survey would rate their local GP as 'Excellent', 'Good' or 'Satisfactory', because those are the only options available.