Monday, 8 February 2010

Lies, damn lies and Lib Dem statistics

Speaking of being honest in campaign literature, the Lib Dems in east Bristol are running one of their usual 'only the Lib Dems can beat Labour here' graphs on their latest (which is also their first) parliamentary election leaflet. It has the result of the 2005 General Election showing Labour represented by a big red column, the Lib Dems on a ever so slightly smaller yellow column, and the Tories lagging way behind with a little blue stump. They must think voters are really stupid, as the actual number of votes cast for each party is conveniently printed on each column too, and makes a complete mockery of their measurements: 19,152 votes for Labour; 10,531 for the Lib Dems; and 8,787 for the Conservatives. Oh, and there's the small matter of boundary changes, which mean that the 2005 General Election results are not an entirely useful guide to what will happen in 2010.

More on the Lib Dem leaflet soon and my thoughts on why they're making such great play of their candidate's RAF background, even down to including a pic of him in uniform... appealing to 'patriotic' voters by the look of it. And why he's just emailed me a letter asking me to confirm that my expenses claims were all in accordance with parliamentary rules. The answer is a categoric yes. I suspect they scent Tory blood, given recent revelations - which I can't decide whether I should blog about or not - and are now gearing up to have a pop at me. Just remember folks, there are lies, damn lies and Lib Dem lies.


Anonymous said...

oi uv got that slogan for me im sure i said that to that lib dem women a minute ago uv not given me credit im dissapointed in you haha im only jokeing.

Jimmy said...

"I can't decide whether I should blog about or not "

FWIW I'd say leave it well alone for a number of reasons: firstly and most obviously of course because we're the nice party and, secondly, because the last thing you need is a collapse in the tory vote. The job of sabotaging Ms. Shafi's campaign is best left to Harry Cole who is doing a marvellous job. I only wish more tory candidates could benefit from his unique brand of campaign magic.

Bristol Dave said...

I can't decide whether I should blog about or not

Given the tone of your recent blog posts I'd say you probably will though, eh?

Since you've been so good at explaining PMQs and general parliamentary procedures, are you able to explain in a nutshell why boundary changes happen? I've never worked it out, as I thought it was to ensure an equal-ish number of voters in each constituency but surely the population in each number can't change that much?

Kerry said...

Just want to say that I'm not entirely happy with the comments attributed to me in today's BEP coverage of said issue, as they were given to the paper last week, when the Mirror first ran with the story. At that stage, very little was known about the candidate's debts, it was all a bit of a mystery, hence my comment that she really needed to explain. Obviously that information is now in the public domain anyway, and it seems a fairly straightforward case of a speculative property venture gone wrong, which makes me think she'd have done better to have given her side of the story to the paper.

As for boundary changes... they're looked at every ten years, and the aim is to keep each constituency roughly the same size, c.65,000 voters. Even a small development of a few thousand houses can have a knock-on effect, and in the new Bristol West for example there have been big changes such as lots of flats being built round the harbourside, more student accommodation, more houses turned into flats meaning more adults at each address. The population of the new east Bristol would have been more stable, although there have been quite a lot of house into flat conversions and some new build, but I think it's probably developments in the inner city that mostly triggered the changes. Paul Smith might have a view on this? And if the Government's house-building programme goes ahead over the next few years, then we could see some major boundary changes in another 10 years too.

And to the person on the BEP site who said that I'd be taking on too much, spreading myself too thin, with Fishponds coming into the new constituency... That doesn't take into account the fact I'd be losing Lawrence Hill and Easton wards, which generate a lot of issues and casework.

Bristol Dave said...

Thanks Kerry :)

Joker said...

I used to think Liberal Democrats (as opposed to liberals, what I is) were basically decent sorts, except in Gloucester, where we were afflicted with a regrettably seedy strain. Now I think that whichever the constituency, the Lib Dems are the enemy of honesty, and if one tells me it's light at noon, I'll always pop outside to check for myself.