Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Election Dominated By Bullshit

Fishy push polls with dodgy weightings are dominating the election campaign to push a nobbled narrative and set an audacious agenda after dodgy non-doms were left well and truly flogged. Weary voters are being forced to suffer an endless round of bullshit as the media grasps at straws with the latest twists and turns in the phoney war.

Bankrolling non-doms were so last week after the spin started to bite back at the hand that fed them. Now The Times Populus poll of 'marginals' was enough for headline writers to scramble and hit the decks with a headline that the parties are "neck and neck" in the "crucial seats that will decide the next election."

A headline-grabbing "Tory 10 point lead" would be just as accurate but why let the facts get in the way of a good story and give Cameron a kick up the backside. Opinion polls in the marginals are only as good as the seats polled, the weighting and the size of the sample.

The poll has Labour and Tories both on 38 percent across 100 marginal seats. But Populus’s poll sampled New Labour held Tory targets 50-149. At a stroke, the 50 seats on the Tories' list of top targets with the smallest majorities were excluded.

Riddell’s running commentary is behind the Times but fits in well with a Tory wobbles narrative and sent the spinners all in a tweet: “The poll suggests that recent talk of a Tory “wobble” has affected voters’ expectations.”

But as Wells points out over at UK Polling, what really matters is which marginals the poll covered, with the swing the thing.

Compared with 2005, when the seats had Con 31.4%, Lab 45.3%, the poll represents a swing of about 6.7% to the Tories.

And, as Wells calculates, “the swing this poll suggests in the marginals is the equivalent of a 10 point lead nationally, a larger lead than most polls from other companies have been showing in recent weeks.”

The Orange Party's bullshit barometer was roused when The Sunday Times splashed a commissioned YouGov push poll. "Brown on course to win election" was a wake up call on Dave's big day at Brighton.

No account was made of the dodgy weightings used in the sample, the key marginals battleground or the questionable use of a spurious uniform swing. But the hype fuelled the spin the lamentable leader could make it back to No 10 after all.

Foggy figures and heady headlines with a fishy poll told a Sunday story, which left the money markets waking up in a cold sweat after a night of Brown nightmares.

Spinners are hard at work with a 'hung parliament' narrative which suits all main parties. New Labour losers have false hope that all is not lost. Complacent Conservatives turn into Trembling Tories with a fight on their hands. Lacklustre LibDems are left wondering if Wonderboy Clegg can one day call the shots.

Meanwhile in other news...

The government plans a puppy tax for the nanny state as a sure fire election non-winner. The BBC's Robinson continues to flog the Ashcroft dead horse on his NewLabourlog. Bully-boy Brown's old bruiser Whelan is Uniting his forces behind the struggling Supreme Leader.

And from the department of 'in your dreams', ministers plan to include dirty dogs on an updated sex offenders register to capture the pooch vote.

The bullshit is set to continue until Bottling Brown finally has the guts to name the day, politicians are booted out of Westminster, embedded reporters booted out of Afghanistan, MPs become mere mortals and Brown's BBC forced to clean up its blatantly biased act.

Until then, where the US leads the UK will follow:

Bullshit News: The Onion

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