I wonder if he’s seen the earlier comments on the ‘David Davis for leader’ blog?
BBC management probably like Luntz because he makes entertaining TV and he predicted the Cameron victory – although several commentators have made the case that the causality actually went the other way and that his Newsnight Focus Group made a major contribution to the Cameron victory (discussed at length in this thread on politicalbetting.com).
However, anyone who’s spent any time in marketing or market research knows how easy it is to ‘throw’ qualitative research, how easy it is to bias research group stimulus, and, particularly, how easy it to selectively edit the results, particularly if you’re looking for people to endorse your product (or politician).
A couple of minutes’ research shows pretty clear evidence from the US is that Frank Luntz has a strong link to the Bush administration and the conservative right as well – this PBS interview is particularly illuminating. There’s also evidence that he has misled media companies about those links. In light of this, I’m surprised that the BBC continue to use him as an ‘independent pollster’ rather than as a ‘conservative pollster and commentator’. Perhaps entertaining TV provides enough justification to throw any attempt at neutrality out of the window.
Perhaps we should get Media Matters for America – who wrote to MSNBC to complain about their use of Frank Luntz in 2004 – to write to the BBC in 2006?