Siobhan Mathers (Lib Dem candidate for Edinburgh Central) annoys me, judging by her latest election letter. Her last one was bad enough with the same story about cycle parks (killer issue) appearing in bits on both sides of the leaflet. But she’s gone beyond incompetence into the world of deceit this time.
At the bottom right of the letter there’s a bar chart showing central Edinburgh results last time for Labour 32%, Liberal 23%, SNP 18% and Conservatives 17% except she’s fudged it. Her argument is that “only the lib dems or labour can win Edinburgh Central”. And this message is reinforced by distorting the chart so it shows the lib dems much closer to the labour total than it should be. So the gap between Labour and Liberal should actually be nearly twice the gap between the Liberals and the SNP. Instead, she has the Libs closer to Labour than they are to the SNP.
This matters because ecletion data is one of the few objective things going in politics and a child could make up the chart correctly (at least my child could) so there is deliberate, conscious deception involved here. An election leaflet may be a trivial matter, but there’s a principle at stake.
There should be a law against this sort of misrepresentation – oh there is!
Update: Shirley-Anne Somerville’s election offering dropped through the letter box this morning. She too makes a similar claime: “Only the SNP can beat LabourinEdinburgh Central” and she has a chart too – but it’s from an opinion poll in the Times. Now I day say SNP headquarters have laid out all the opinion polls they’ve got and chosen the most favourable for Shirley-Anne. So are the SNP any more hones than the Lib Dems. In my book yes, what do you think?