It has been so far an ‘interesting’ BBC TV news analysis of the alleged parity between Conservative and Labour council losses, whether as number of seats and/or overall control. I am referring to both the lunchtime and 6pm news today. The 10pm one will be fascinating as I look for further evidence of what I am going to now outline.
The lunchtime news went with Norman Smith’s flamboyant summary of a voting public saying to the main parties ‘a plague on both your houses’.
There is no question whatsoever there is widespread public dissatisfaction with parliament’s handling [!] of Brexit, and both parties have their relative shares in the indecision and infighting and indelible loss of face.
Who is the Prime Minister of the country?
Well, this was a telling ‘comparison’ of how similar the parties’ losses were:
In reporting the Chelmsford City Council move from Conservative to Liberal Democrat control, a graph was used that visually stated how the Conservatives lost 31 seats with the LDs gaining 26. Yes, this is significant.
In reporting the Wirral Council ending up with no overall control, the figures were presented as a Labour loss of 13%. That’s an interesting editorial decision in illustrating what had been claimed as a parity of losses and with a ‘plague on both your houses’ literary reference in support! As Labour were the ruling party before the vote by 1 seat, in losing 3 – 2 to the Conservatives and 1 to the Greens – this was presented as similar…
31 seats loss / a shift of 13%. The later equating to 3 seats. Parity? Mathematical shenanigans? Fake news? Misrepresentation? Bias?
Let’s be clear: both parties suffered because of Brexit. But on an equal footing?
At the time of writing this, these were the comparative Conservative and Labour losses of seats reported by the BBC:
Conservatives – 1,132
Labour – 100
I think a plague on your reporting BBC.
NB. 10pm BBC News: Still essentially touting the ‘parity’ line – stating the Conservatives hemorrhaged seats, which as language at least acknowledges the colossal impact, and yet stating that Labour suffered losses too, quite implicitly suggesting this is similar. Of course it is suggesting this. If the BBC was being honest and factual it would state that Labour losses were significantly less – see below – and they could still maintain a view that this reflects voter dissatisfaction with both parties [but massively more for one!]:
Conservatives – 1,334
Labour – 82