The headline on the front of Wednesday's Express screams:
But the headline is based on a poll conducted in just one small corner of middle-England. Despite this, the Express makes a great play of this being "the biggest vote on this country’s ties to Brussels for 40 years".
Whichever way you look at it the flawed finding is in no way representative of "this country's" views on EU membership.
The Express does eventually admit "The Tory poll" was organised by three Eurosceptic Conservatives and carried out only in the North Northamptonshire constituencies they will be contesting in May (marked on the map, below).
Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough, Philip Hollobone, MP for Kettering, and Tom Pursglove, who is standing in Corby apparently pushed 100,000 leaflets and 'ballot papers' through voters' doors, of which just 14,581 were returned.
From that 14.5 per cent turnout, 80 per cent apparently said they want to get out of the EU, with no little encouragement from the smiling Eurosceptic faces of Bone, Hollobone and Pursglove on the front of the leaflet which accompanied the ballot paper.
One recipient of the leaflet and ballot paper told the Media Blog it was worded in such a way that "you would only vote if you felt very strongly for leaving the EU".
So only 80 per cent of a relatively small section of voters in North Northamptonshire who were likely to respond to a leaflet from their Eurosceptic Tory representative asking if they want to get out of Europe, actually want to get out of Europe. That seems quite low given how skewed this obviously was.
According to the Express "the overwhelming result will be presented to David Cameron". We are told the "landslide result heaps further pressure on the Prime Minister". Or at least it would if he was duty bound to base all his decisions on the way the Express reports flawed polls conducted in a small corner of Northamptonshire.
UPDATE: Anthony Wells from polling company YouGov has joined in the criticism of the Express’s headline and the research it is based on, pointing to further flaws in its methodology and unrepresentative sample. Wells points out more credible polling suggests the percentage of Brits who want to leave the EU is consistently less than 50 per cent. He also points out that Lord Ashcroft conducted a poll among 20,000 Brits last March (making a nonsense of the Express’s claim that the botched Northamptonshire ‘referendum’ was "the biggest vote on this country’s ties to Brussels for 40 years") which found just 41 per cent of Brits want to leave the EU.
Of course none of this has stopped some ill-infomed people wading in and repeating the Express's headline claim as fact: