Our first and so far only election follow-up leaflet
A “Pretty standard thank you leaflet following up local elections” from Taversham has showed up on the database. It’s in the Norwich North constituency. And it’s the Lib Dems playing fast and loose with the polling numbers again.
We don’t have any other thank you leaflets following up elections anywhere else on TheStraightChoice.org. If there were enough of them, we’d create a special category.
Excerpted text from the leaflet includes:
Following their success at the recent elections, the Lib Dems are now the official opposition at Conservative run Norfolk County Council. Labour now have just 3 Councillors in all of Norfolk (down from 22).
At the local elections the Lib Dems won 28% of the vote finishing 2nd behind the Conservatives.
Labour bosses force out local MP Ian Gibson
With the Green Party in a poor 4th place at the last election, local people will likely choose between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives for their new MP.
Libdems are the green choice
With 4th place Green Party out of the race here (just 3% at the last General Election), more and more people are looking at the Lib Dems as the “green choice” locally.
The results from the 2005 Parliamentary General election were: Labour (Ian Gibson) 44.9%, Conservative 33.2%, Libdems 16.2%, Green 2.7%, UKIP 2.4%.
Now, I happen to know that Norwich (the city, not Norfolk County) has been one of the Green Party hot-spots over the last several years.
The Norfolk County Election 2009 across the region results give: Conservative 45.9%, Lib Dems 22.7%, Labour 13.8%, Green 10.9%, UKIP 4.6%, BNP 0.8%.
This produced: 60 Conservative seats, 13 Lib Dem seats, 7 Green seats (all in Norwich City district), 3 Labour seats and 1 UKIP seat (in Great Yarmouth), for Norfolk County Council.
(It’s possible I’ve read 28% from the leaflet above, when it should be 23%, as the image is quite blurry.)
Here is the complete table of votes in the wards that make up the Norwich North constituency (with thanks to Phil Rodgers) extracted and totalled up from this official table of county-wide results here.
(Boundary changes that happen on the next General Election cause the loss of Taverham and Drayton, so this leaflet is still targeted correctly, as long as the by-election happens before the General Election.)
|Thorpe St Andrew||7454||1627||502||383||304|
This is one of those standard cases of misreporting of poll numbers. The reporting is done for a district that doesn’t match the district of the forthcoming election, and it’s done using out of date numbers.
Now, you could argue that going back to the previous (out of date) Parliamentary election for your polling numbers for the next Parliamentary election is reasonable, but while the Greens polled 3% in 2005, the LibDems polled only 16%. This leaflet, however, invited readers to contrast it with their 23% poll in the 2009 local elections across the entire county, where the Greens got 11%.
In our first-past-the-post electoral system, most of the votes don’t count. Voters who know that their votes don’t count can sometimes be persuaded to vote for another party, so there is a lot of campaigning to be done on these polling numbers. Which is why they are worth lying about.
Update: 22 June 2009 – added Phil Rodgers’s transcribed data into the incomplete table.