Peter Kellner

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Peter Kellner
Peter Kellner, September 2009 (cropped).jpg
Kellner in 2009
Peter Jon Kellner

(1946-10-02) 2 October 1946 (age 75)
Lewes, Sussex, England
EducationKing's College, Cambridge

Peter Jon Kellner (born 2 October 1946) is an English journalist, former BBC Newsnight reporter, political commentator, and former president of the YouGov opinion polling organisation in the United Kingdom. He is known for his appearances on TV, especially at election times.

Early life[edit]

Kellner was born in Lewes, Sussex. His father, Michael Kellner, was an Austrian Jew, born in 1920, who emigrated to Palestine in 1938, after Kristallnacht, and later moved to Britain.[1]

He was educated at Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School, Cricklewood (and later Elstree), Minchenden Grammar School, Southgate, North London, and the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle upon Tyne, and has an MA in Economics and Statistics from King's College, Cambridge.


Formerly the political analyst of the BBC Newsnight current affairs programme, Kellner was engaged by YouGov's founders, Stephan Shakespeare and Nadhim Zahawi, in December 2001. When YouGov floated for £18 million in April 2005, Kellner owned 6% of the company.[2] He has been President of YouGov since 2007, and was its Chairman from 2001–2007.[3]

From 1969 to 2003 he was a newspaper journalist with The Sunday Times, New Statesman, The Independent, The Observer and the Evening Standard.[3]

He has also been a visiting fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, and the Institute for Policy Studies, London and has advised several large corporations.[4] He is the chairman of NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) and Visiting Scholar at Carnegie Europe.

In 2011, he received a Special Recognition Award from the Political Studies Association in recognition of his achievements in "bringing polling and intelligent use of numbers and figures to election coverage".

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Catherine Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, a Labour Party politician and the first and former High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. They have two children.[3] Kellner has three other children from a previous marriage dissolved in 1988.[3]


  • 1976 Callaghan: The Road to Number 10, (with Christopher Hitchens), Cassell, ISBN 978-0-304-29768-9
  • 1980 The Civil Servants: an Inquiry into Britain's Ruling Class (with Lord Crowther-Hunt)
  • 2009 Democracy: 1,000 Years in Pursuit of British Liberty Mainstream, ISBN 978-1-84596-506-8


  1. ^ Edward Platt (16 April 2015). "Living by numbers: YouGov and the power of the pollsters". NewStatesman. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  2. ^ Interview: Peter Kellner, YouGov (Evening Standard), David Rowan, 20 April 2005
  3. ^ a b c d "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.)
  4. ^ Peter Kellner's Column Archived 2009-10-01 at the Wayback Machine, YouGov

External links[edit]