YouGov plc
Company typePublic limited company
Founded2000; 24 years ago (2000)
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
Area served
Key people
RevenueIncrease £221.1 million (2022)[1]
Increase £36.3 million (2022)[1]
Increase £17.5 million (2022)[1]
Total assetsIncrease £240.4 million (2022)[1]
Total equityIncrease £125.3 million (2022)[1]
Number of employees
c. 1,650 (2022)[1]

YouGov plc 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.



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

In its initial years, YouGov hired a number a notable commentators to write columns on its website, including future UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson,[4] and presenter John Humphrys.[5] In April 2005, YouGov became a public company listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.[6] In the same year, the company launched BrandIndex which tracks public opinion on consumer brands using daily polls.

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, polling firm Polimetrix, headed by Stanford University professor Doug Rivers,[3] was acquired by the company.[7] Also in 2007, they added Palo Alto, California-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, New Jersey 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 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.[8] The new business was rebranded YouGov Sport.[9] Ahead of the 2010 U.K General Election, YouGov entered an exclusive contract to provide political polls to The Times.[10] The business also launched TellYouGov, which combined analysis drawing from social media data and polling results.[11] The business continues to analyse social media, now primarily via YouGov Signal.


In 2011, YouGov acquired Portland, Oregon-based firm Definitive Insights for $1 million with a potential $2 million earn out and also 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.[12] Also in 2014, YouGov launched Profiles, an audience segmentation tool, combining data points from its most active panellists showing how the public engages with traditional and new media channels.[13][14]

In 2016, Peter Kellner stepped down as the company’s Chairman.[15] In this year, YouGov began to use a methodology known as multi-level regression and post-stratification (MRP) in its political polling. Its first public use was during the United Kingdom’s referendum on EU membership.[10] YouGov has used this approach around elections since.

In the 2017 UK General Election, YouGov’s projection was an outlier. While most pollsters projected large Conservative majorities, YouGov correctly predicted a hung parliament.[16] YouGov modelling rightly projected a number of shock results, including in Kensington and Canterbury.[17] In December 2017, YouGov purchased Galaxy Research to establish a presence in Australia.[18] Galaxy Research was an Australian market research 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).[19].

In 2020, YouGov launched YouGov Turkey, the result of an acquisition of Istanbul-based online research agency Wizsight.[20] The business also polled extensively around the Coronavirus pandemic, working with Imperial College London to track how populations responded to the virus and associated policies.[21]


In 2021, the company completed acquisitions of Canada-based Charlton Insights,[22] Swiss-based LINK Marketing Services AG,[23] and Australia-headquartered Faster Horses.[24] Other acquisitions in 2021 included Lean App which was bought to improve YouGov’s services with financial transaction data,[23] and Rezonence which offers users access to premium content in exchange for taking part in a survey.[25] The business also launched YouGov Safe, giving insight into consumer online behaviour by encouraging consumers to share their data in a GDPR-friendly manner.[26]

In July 2023, YouGov agreed to acquire the consumer panel division of German market research company GfK for €315 million.[27] The next month, YouGov chairman Shakespeare said the company was considering either moving its listing in the UK to the US, or establishing a secondary listing in the US. "I think the markets are better at supporting companies like ours there," he said in an interview with the Financial Times.[28] The company later clarified that it was “not being considered in the near term.”[29] In January 2024, YouGov concluded the acquisition of GfK’s consumer panel,[30] and also acquired Chicago-based data company KnowledgeHound in a separate deal.[31]

Description and governance

Steve Hatch has been YouGov's chief executive officer since August 2023, taking over from co-founder Stephan Shakespeare who succeeded Roger Parry as the company’s non-executive chair.[32] Since Peter Kellner's retirement from the company in 2016, its methodology has been overseen by YouGov’s chief scientist, Doug Rivers.[3]

YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council.[33]


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 24 million people worldwide.[34][35]

In February 2024, FiveThirtyEight ranked YouGov as fourth out of more than 300 pollsters in its ratings, based on analysis of 624 YouGov polls.[36]

Allegations of poll manipulation

In June 2022, former employee Chris Curtis, who at this time worked for competitor Opinium,[37] 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".[37] 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%.[38]

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",[37] 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.[39]

See also


United Kingdom

United States


  1. ^ a b c d e f "2022 Annual Report" (PDF). YouGov. 7 November 2022.
  2. ^ "Kellner, Peter Jon". Who's Who (2014 online ed.). A & C Black. 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. ^ Inglefield, Mark (12 July 2000). "Heave-ho for 'slow' Boris - Diary". The Times.
  5. ^ "pounds 1m for you, gov". The Guardian. 22 August 2006.
  6. ^ "London Stock Exchange – YouGov". London Stock Exchange. Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Daily Research News Online no. 6227 - Polimetrix Adds to YouGov Cauldron". Archived from the original on 25 January 2022. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  8. ^ Katie McQuater (25 May 2018). "YouGov fully acquires SMG Insight". Research Live. Archived from the original on 3 March 2021. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  9. ^ "About". YouGov Sport. 20 January 2022. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  10. ^ a b Stokel-Walker, Chris (28 November 2019). "How YouGov became the UK's best but most controversial pollster". Wired. Retrieved 4 December 2023.
  11. ^ Bradshaw, Tim (24 March 2010). "YouGov embraces social websites". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 December 2023.
  12. ^ "Acquisition of Decision Fuel". Investegate. 9 January 2014. Archived from the original on 17 January 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  13. ^ Gani, Aisha (18 November 2014). "Who are you? YouGov profiles the nation's newspaper readers". The Guardian.
  14. ^ Machell, Ben (4 March 2024). "If you aren't addicted to YouGov Profiles yet, you soon will be". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 4 March 2024.
  15. ^ "YouGov President Peter Kellner to Step Down". MR Web. 15 February 2016.
  16. ^ Burn-Murdoch, John (9 June 2017). "Election 2017: how the UK voted in 7 charts". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 December 2023.
  17. ^ Wong, Sam (28 November 2019). "What is MRP and can it predict the result of the UK general election?". New Scientist. Retrieved 4 December 2023.
  18. ^ "YouGov acquires Galaxy Research". Mumbrella. 17 December 2017. Archived from the original on 10 May 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ "YouGov acquires Turkish research company Wizsight". Financial Times. 17 November 2020. Retrieved 12 December 2023.
  21. ^ Alford, Justine (11 April 2020). "Open data hub launches to track global responses to COVID-19". Imperial College London. Retrieved 4 December 2023.
  22. ^ "YouGov acquires Canadian sports research agency Charlton Insights". AJBell. 5 February 2021. Retrieved 12 December 2023.
  23. ^ a b Clark, Jessica (26 April 2021). "Yougov acquires open banking start-up Lean App". City A.M. Retrieved 4 December 2023.
  24. ^ "YouGov acquires data insights consultancy Faster Horses". AJBell. 13 July 2021. Retrieved 12 December 2023.
  25. ^ "YouGov posts strong full-year profits growth, buys tech business Rezonence". Proactive Investors. 12 October 2021. Retrieved 12 December 2023.
  26. ^ Fernie, Gabby (16 April 2021). "YouGov Safe launches, giving consumers control over their data". Mobile Marketing. Retrieved 4 December 2023.
  27. ^ Rana, Anchal (6 July 2023). "YouGov acquires GfK's consumer panel business for $342 million". Reuters.
  28. ^ Thomas, Daniel (14 August 2023). "YouGov considers US listing as business expands". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  29. ^ Warrington, James (14 August 2023). "YouGov threatens to quit London for New York as City exodus grows". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 December 2023.
  30. ^ Jones, Jess (10 January 2024). "New York listing 'not on the agenda' for YouGov as it strikes biggest deal yet". City A.M. Retrieved 11 January 2024.
  31. ^ Prescott, Katie (9 January 2024). "American deal bolsters talk of YouGov listing switch to New York". The Times. Retrieved 11 January 2024.
  32. ^ Kay-McClean, Liam (17 April 2023). "Shakespeare to depart as YouGov CEO". Research Live. Archived from the original on 17 April 2023. Retrieved 1 September 2023.
  33. ^ "British Polling Council Officers and Members". British Polling Council. Archived from the original on 15 November 2021. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  34. ^ "YouGov Panel". Archived from the original on 1 November 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  35. ^ Sandle, Paul (21 March 2023). "UK's YouGov says demand from Silicon Valley clients holding up". Archived from the original on 21 March 2023. Retrieved 1 September 2023.
  36. ^ Silver, Nate (9 March 2023). "Pollster Ratings". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 4 March 2024.
  37. ^ a b c 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.
  38. ^ 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.
  39. ^ "Ex-YouGov worker retracts claim it suppressed pro-Corbyn poll". The Guardian. 11 June 2022. Retrieved 21 July 2022.