‘Sun poll: Lib Dem big guns face boot as MPs in meltdown at election’ booms out a headline in today’s edition of The Sun. A headline we have seen before but heck why not read it once more? Let’s have a look at the first few paragraphs:
THE Lib Dems will be almost wiped out at the next General Election — losing all but SEVEN of their current 57 MPs, a major poll predicts today.
The most high-profile casualty will be party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
Other top guns getting the boot include Business Secretary Vince Cable, ex-Energy Secretary Chris Huhne and Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander.
Ex-leaders Sir Menzies Campbell and Charles Kennedy will be axed too.
Wow. Bad times. However what I don’t like. Well when I say I don’t like what I really mean is what I can’t abide is the determination in the language. Ex-leaders Sir Menzies Campbell and Charles Kennedy will be axed too. Oh will they now? Is that gospel? The Sun can predict the future three years down the line with such determination and yet the writers are still working and not sunning themselves in the Seychelles following their 17th EuroMillions jackpot win on the spin.
We need to see who they surveyed though. So who did they survey?
The survey polled 1,524 voters in the 76 key seats being created when boundary changes come into effect — in areas where the Lib Dems have previously been strong.
So they have surveyed 20 people in each constituency. Now roughly 40,000 people or so on average vote in every General Election so they have surveyed – and let me ensure this statistic is right – they have surveyed 0.0005% of the electorate in these wards and are able to conclude definitively the future. Wow that is quite remarkable. Big ups to The Sun and YouGov for that. Imagine being able to predict the future. Dang I’m jealous.
Does it take into account local issues or just a uniform swing based across this survey? Yes it does – On a uniform swing, the Conservatives would take 21 of their seats and Labour will land 18. Surely one thing we noticed in 2010 was that uniform swings were not happening and local issues were all the more important but sod that – lets go for the baseless headline that suits our political bias.
We always talk about the media and political bias but it is true. Many many moons ago I was sitting in Wapping at The Sun HQ going for a job there and I didn’t get it due in large to the fact I wasn’t comfortable with their political bias. I made it clear I liked to go with the facts and not conjecture and boy that didn’t go down well at all. They are willing to stretch the truth as much as possible to fulfil their political remit.
They have their ‘political heroes and villains’ of the week and looking back no Lib Dem has ever been a hero of the week. They have been the villain on many an occasion though. Heck they’ve even gone after Paddy Ashdown saying the following, ‘While Lord Ashdown and his bishop friends sit in their ivory tower, hard-pressed families in the real world are desperately disappointed that fairness has been swept under the carpet.’ Does Paddy Ashdown really deserve such words? No he doesn’t. However The Sun will do anything they can to get at the Lib Dems because they believe that the death of the Lib Dems will lead tp a Tory government in 2015.
They also believe they if you say something enough times then people will eventually believe it. If they write the Lib Dems are finished enough then that’ll be it. The Lib Dems make no mistake are not in a great position up and down the country but they in nowhere near as bad a state as this hard-hitting 0.0005% of the electorate survey would make out. Will the Lib Dems lose seats in 2015? Quite probably. Will they go down to 7 MPs? Highly unlikely.
So there we have it. I find the report in The Sun desperately mis-leading but depressingly the more I get involved in politics the more I see people stretching the truth. On my desk I have several pieces of literature from across Southend-on-Sea and I can see several things that are at best stretches and at worst flat out lies. Sadly this is what a lot of politics is. It is hard to swim against the tide and be open and up front but that is all I can do. If I win on May 3 then fantastic but if I go down I know i’ll have gone down with integrity and honesty. Something that the staff on the politics desk at The Sun wouldn’t know if it came up to them and bit them in the bum.
Edit: Here in the YouGov blurb about this survey which proves I’m a moron apparently and shouldn’t question their right to speak of this survey as a fact based on a question no-one has to answer for three years.
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