Tuesday, May 13, 2008

BBC inflates Lib Dem and Green Mayoral vote?

The table below is taken from London elect and shows the break down results for the Mayoral contest the other week.

Now compare that with the table on the right taken from the BBC website. See how they've just added the first and second preference votes together of the top four candidates (rather than just the top two), thereby over-inflating the Lib Dem and Green result even though the second preference votes were thrown away and are not counted in the contest?

It gives the rather odd impression that Brian Paddick received close to a million votes when the truth is he really only got just under a 250,000 and and was thereby knocked out of the race at that point.

Sian Berry meanwhile only received 77,000 votes rather than 409,000. Adding the second preference votes on to anyone other than the two main candidates is a tad misleading isn't on Aunties part?


stuart said...

Like it or not, Brian Paddick did get almost 900,000 votes. Regardless of whether or not he got through to the second round, that many people made him their 1st or 2nd choice.

Jonny S said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the sum of Boris' 1st and 2nd preferences 1,301,553 rather than the 1,168,738 that's stated? Even Ken should be 1,197,075. But for Paddick and the Green, the sums are correct. All very odd.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Jo Abbess probably threatened them with an email campaign if they didn't make Sian Berry's numbers better.

dizzy said...

re: Jonny S - "* On papers where the 1st and 2nd choice votes are for the top two candidates, the 2nd choice votes are not counted"

Jonny S said...

Ah, ok, I see. I think. Lucky the system isn't at all confusing then.

Al said...

Jonny's point, I think, is that the BBC deliberately misrepresent the numbers by doing the 1st+2nd for everyone except the top two. Which is right out.

However, I just put all this down to idiocy rather than malice.

What really got me is that this shows how many 100s of thousands of people don't seem to understand the incredibly simple voting system. Why would you vote Boris or Ken first with a second preference???

TrevorH said...

"Like it or not, Brian Paddick did get almost 900,000 votes" -- WAKE UP at the back, no he did not.

His first preference votes were way less than that. Thats why he came THIRD. As such any 2nd preferences for him (and how can a second preference count as a vote?) only counted if he came SECOND.

The point of a second preference is to determine who might win in a run off between Paddick and S.O. Else. Since he came a poor THIRD, thanks to his paltry 237,000 votes this eventuality was never called into question.

Millions of people who voted for Boris and Ken also cast 2nd preferences but they were never used as the pair of them came first and second. Were these 'real' votes?

The second preference vote is a complete scam since if you are to use it properly you have to second guess the first two. To be truly democratic you should have a run off like the French elections - then EVERYBODY has an opportunity to vote again and EVERYBODY knows who the choices are.

Basically we should stick to first past the post - the current system is just a last throw to keep a Labour Mayor in office.

LS said...

Al - Simple.

I voted for Boris. In the incredibly unlikely case that London went mad and the top two were Ken and Brian, I wanted a choice between them. Since there was no penalty in casting a second preference, I did (albeit with an infinitessimal chance of it being needed).

Anonymous said...

It's not exactly good for Paddick's ego that he was popular as a second choice. It's like being the bridesmaid I guess and grateful for a bit of the limelight for a short period of time.

Considering how Paddick got so much attention, sitting alongside Boris and Ken for all those hustings - and still only getting 10% of the first-choice votes - he really did do crap!