YouGov Plc
TypePublic limited company
IndustryMarket research
Opinion polling
Founded2000; 23 years ago (2000)
FoundersStephan Shakespeare
Nadhim Zahawi
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
Area served
Key people
Stephan Shakespeare (CEO)
Roger Parry (Chairman)
Douglas Rivers (chief scientist)
Revenue£136.5 million (2019)[1]
£18.3 million (2019)[1]
Number of employees
1032 (2019)[1]

YouGov is a British 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. In 2007, it acquired US company Polimetrix, and since December 2017 it has owned Galaxy Research, an Australian market research company.


YouGov was founded in the UK in May 2000 by Stephan Shakespeare and future UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi. In 2001 they engaged BBC political analyst Peter Kellner, who became chairman, and then from 2007 to 2016, President.[2][3]

In April 2005, YouGov became a public company listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.[4]

In 2007, polling firm Polimetrix, headed by Stanford University professor Doug Rivers,[3] was acquired by the company.[5]

Galaxy Research

Galaxy Research was an Australian market researching company that provided opinion polling for state and federal politics. Its polls were published in News Limited tabloid newspapers, including the Herald Sun, Courier-Mail and The Daily Telegraph (in contrast to Newspoll data which is presented in the News Limited broadsheet newspaper The Australian).[6]

In December 2017, YouGov purchased Galaxy Research to establish presence in Australia.[7]

Description and governance

Stephan Shakespeare has been YouGov's Chief Executive Officer since 2010.[8] Roger Parry has been YouGov's Chairman since 2007.[9] Since Peter Kellner's retirement as chair in 2016, its methodology has been overseen by Doug Rivers, former owner of Polimetrix.[3]

As of November 2020, major shareholders of the company included Liontrust Asset Management (14.23%); Standard Life Aberdeen (8.6%); Octopus Investments (7.78%); BlackRock (7.63%); and Stephan & Rosamund Shakespeare (6.85%).[10]

YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council.[11]


YouGov specialises in market research and opinion polling 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 over 12 million people worldwide.[12]


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.[13]

In 2010, YouGov bought a 20% stake of sports media data company SMG Insight. In 2018, the company acquired the remaining 80% of SMG Insight's stock.[14] The new business was rebranded YouGov Sport.[15]

Allegations of poll manipulation

In June 2022, former employee Chris Curtis, who at this time worked for competitor Opinium,[16] said that during the 2017 United Kingdom general election, a YouGov poll was suppressed by the company because it was "too positive about Labour", under pressure from the Conservative co-founder of YouGov Nadhim Zahawi. YouGov denied that the poll was spiked for political reasons, instead arguing that the poll was based on a "skewed sample".[17] Former YouGov president Peter Kellner confirmed last-minute small methodology changes which transferred 2% from Labour to Conservative and increased the predicted Conservative lead from 3% to 7%.[18]

A day later, Curtis withdrew his allegations, saying that he now accepted "YouGov's position that in fact the results were pulled because of concerns other members of the team had about the methodology",[17] and that he had not intended to allege that Nadhim Zahawi had had any bearing on the decision, and apologised for any confusion caused by his previous statements.[19]

See also


United Kingdom

United States


  1. ^ a b c YouGov. "Financial Reports" Archived 2021-08-29 at the Wayback Machine, 8 October 2019. Retrieved on 28 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Kellner, Peter Jon". Who's Who. (2014 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 26 May 2014. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ a b c "YouGov President Peter Kellner to Step Down". MR Web. 15 February 2016. Archived from the original on 27 March 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  4. ^ "London Stock Exchange – YouGov". London Stock Exchange. Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Daily Research News Online no. 6227 - Polimetrix Adds to YouGov Cauldron". Archived from the original on 25 January 2022. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  6. ^ Brent, Peter (10 April 2007). "Forget the election contest, look at the pollsters". Crikey. Archived from the original on 19 March 2021. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  7. ^ "YouGov acquires Galaxy Research". Mumbrella. 17 December 2017. Archived from the original on 10 May 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Zahawi stands for parliament and steps down as yougov ceo". Research Live. 22 February 2010. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Parry takes post at YouGov". The Guardian. 15 January 2007. Archived from the original on 3 March 2021. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  10. ^ "YouGov – Shareholders". YouGov: What the world thinks. Archived from the original on 11 November 2020.
  11. ^ "British Polling Council Officers and Members". Archived from the original on 15 November 2021. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  12. ^ "YouGov Panel". Archived from the original on 1 November 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  13. ^ "Acquisition of Decision Fuel". Investegate. 9 January 2014. Archived from the original on 17 January 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  14. ^ Katie McQuater (25 May 2018). "YouGov fully acquires SMG Insight". Research Live. Archived from the original on 3 March 2021. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  15. ^ "About". YouGov Sport. 20 January 2022. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  16. ^ Stone, Jon (8 June 2022). "YouGov 'banned' release of 2017 election poll because it was too good for Labour". The Independent. Archived from the original on 8 June 2022. Retrieved 21 July 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  17. ^ a b Stone, Jon (8 June 2022). "YouGov 'banned' release of 2017 election poll because it was 'too good for Labour'". The Independent. Retrieved 21 July 2022.
  18. ^ Kellner, Peter (8 June 2022). "Why do polling firms like YouGov tweak polls? Because they are scared of being wrong". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  19. ^ Media, PA (11 June 2022). "Ex-YouGov worker retracts claim it suppressed pro-Corbyn poll". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2022.