- Liberal Democrats accused of ‘intentionally misinforming’ voters with campaign leaflets.
- The party have sent leaflets to target seats suggesting that constituency polling by YouGov puts them close to victory.
- However, YouGov confirmed to Business Insider that no such constituency polling had been conducted.
- The creator of a polling website used by the party accused the Lib Dems of misrepresenting the data.
- Other leaflets falsely attribute a quote by the Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson to the Guardian newspaper.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Liberal Democrats have been accused of “intentionally misinforming” voters after publishing a series of misleading election campaign leaflets.
Leaflets sent out by the Lib Dems in their target seat of Putney cite “YouGov polling for Putney” showing the party level-pegging in the seat with the Conservatives.
However, a spokesperson for the pollsters YouGov told Business Insider that they had not carried out any polling in the constituency and “would not defend” how it had been presented in the leaflet.
The small print on the leaflet reveals that the Lib Dems have instead used a modelled projection of national YouGov polling by the website Flavible, which attempts to estimate support for parties in individual constituencies.
However, Flavible is clear that the projections should not be presented as being constituency polling, with users of the website told: “Do not conflate this with constituency polling.”
In a statement, the creator of the website George Rushton accused the Lib Dems of “intentionally misinforming” voters.
“As many have seen, campaign material has been distributed by the Liberal Democrats, tweets have been shared by individual candidates and local parties,” Rushton said.
“Most have correctly labelled this data. However, a few have either themselves misinterpreted the data or intentionally mislabelled the data for political advantage.”
The Lib Dems came in a distant third place in Putney at the last general election in 2017, trailing the second-placed Labour candidate by over 13,000 votes.
Lib Dem candidates have also reportedly used Flavible projections in other Lib Dem target seats of York Outer, Esher and Walton, Islington North, Enfield Southgate, Woking, Oxford East, and Westminster and City.
Another leaflet sent out by the party this week quotes the Guardian newspaper as saying “Lib Dems winning and on the up after by-election victory.”
However, the quote is actually from Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson herself.
The party was also accused of “dirty tricks” last week after publishing leaflets suggesting they were close to ousting Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.
The small print on the leaflet revealed the data used was from a poll asking voters in the seat how they would vote if only the Lib Dems and Conservatives were in contention.
The Liberal Democrats were contacted for comment.