The Poll ran on the Bank holiday weekend of 25th – 27th May, as part of the online omnibus service which ComRes runs weekly.


The results from ComRes are linked below as Adobe PDF files. Please note the ComRes stipulations if you plan to use this data in a manner which falls under their rubric of involvement (see Part 1 – the Topline PDF – for details):


The idea for conducting this poll originated with Joe Emersberger, a regular blogger and contributor to the Media Lens website message board (MLMB). Media Lens offer alternative narratives to mainstream news reportage of current events, using the ‘Propaganda Model’ posited by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman in their famous 1988 book of media analysis, ‘Manufacturing Consent: The political Economy of the Mass Media’, to critically consider the various ‘filters’ that make – and bias – ‘the news fit to print’. They attract much admiration for their work, which consists of regular ‘Media Alerts‘ in which they will analyze a story or trend in current affairs and apply the model described by Chomsky and Hermann in ‘Manufacturing Consent’. The results, whether you agree with all their conclusions or not, are always thoughtful and well reasoned; responses from journalists often less so.

Joe, in a post on the MLMB, had mentioned the 2007 AP Poll conducted in the US, and that a similar poll in the UK would be very interesting as a gauge of how informed the public are by the saturation media regarding this most controversial issue of the Blair premiership and New Labour’s legacy. I agreed, and decided to set up a crowd-fund project to raise the funds to do so. Many of the contributors to the MLMB donated to this fund, so it was fairly instrumental in attracting support for this project.

The crowd-funding lasted for one month, and at the end of the campaign we had raised sufficient funds to go ahead with the project. A few weeks of liaison crowd-sourcing the questions and methods (on the MLMB), and selecting the right agency and polling method, and after another month or so the poll went into the ‘online omnibus‘ which ComRes runs weekly for a wide range of established clients and different research purposes.

Working with ComRes was very simple and straightforward. They like to have input in question design and wording to help ensure that poll design is geared toward neutral and accurate data collection – there is more detail about this in THE CROWD-FUND. They were also very flexible including requested non-standard data in our final tables, which helped a great deal.


Two questions were asked. The first question was:

How many Iraqis, both combatants and civilians, do you think have died as a consequence of the war that began in Iraq in 2003? Please just give your best estimate.

The responses are summarized below:

ComRes Table 01

ComRes Results Table #1 – Iraqi death toll since 2003 : UK Public estimates, 2013

Pie Chart of UK public estimates of Iraqi deaths

ComRes Data from Table #1 as Pie Chart

The second question ComRes asked was:

What percentage of Iraqi deaths as a result of the war do you think were civilian ie non combatants? Please give a percentage from 1-100. Please just give your best estimate.

The responses are summarized below:

Summary Table 02 - Estimates of percentage of civilians killed from total deaths since 2003

ComRes Results Table #2 – Iraqi civilian fatalities since 2003 : UK Public estimates as percentage of total killed from first question, 2013

Pie Chart of civilian fatality estimate as percentage of total killed since 2003

ComRes data from Table #2 as Pie Chart

By subsequently combining the individual data from each respondent – their total estimate with the percentage they believe of this total to have been civilians – we were able to extrapolate civilian casualty estimates in Iraq since 2003, as guessed by the UK public:

UK Public estimates of civilian casualties in Iraq since 2003

ComRes Results Table #3 : UK Public estimates of civilian casualties in Iraq since 2003

Civilian Estimates

Data from Table #3 as pie chart

These results, and the Poll itself, are discussed further in the COMMENTARY & ANALYSIS


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s