Taking Liberalities with Central Edinburgh truth – another good reason to vote SNP or Conservative.

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!


McGellie x

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?


8 Responses to Taking Liberalities with Central Edinburgh truth – another good reason to vote SNP or Conservative.

  1. Grant Thoms says:

    Well abused Liberal Democrat tradition – good to expose this!

  2. Simon says:


    The Lib Dems’ data is far more honest! They may be slightly out in their pictorial representation of the positions of the different parties but they are in the correct order with the correct percentages attached to them. The SNP figures are just a national opinion poll extrapolated onto Edinburgh Central – they have no basis in actual votes or the opinions of the electorate in Edinburgh Central.

    The Lib Dems do have a much better chance than the SNP. The SNP have very little support in Edinburgh – they didn’t win a single council seat in 2003. Edinburgh Central has been the Lib Dems’ No.1 target seat for four years and they’ve been putting lots of work into it. Especially in the large areas which form part of the Lib Dem held Edinburgh West Constituency. It’s only the past few months that it has begun to look even almost winnable for the SNP. I hate to say it but -it’s a two horse race in Edinburgh Central. If you want Labour out vote Lib Dem! The Tories and SNP can’t win here.

  3. mcgellie says:

    Hi Simon,

    You sound like a Lib Dem machine worker. “Slightly out” is, I’m afraid an understatement. Use your eyes and your brain. People reading Siobhan’s newsletter see the chart and don’t read the percentages. Her chart is pathetically out of scale, trying to gloss it over only irritates me further. Do you really think having bars in a chart in the right order is some kind of validation? You remove any reason that I should believe what you people have to say. I’d be much more impressed if you just owned up and fixed it.


    McGellie x

  4. yucca says:

    I too had noticed this funny thing that both the SNP and the LibDem claim in their election material that only they can beat labour. But well done on noticing that the pic is misleading (ill go and check presently).

    on the issue of which is more misleading: in fairness, using data from for years ago is a bit much if the argument is that today only the LibDem can win. If, on top of that, you fake the chart, that it’s hard to match in terms of trying to fool the electorate. But definitely selling a nation poll for a Edinburgh Central poll, as Simon claims that SNP has done, is a good attempt…

  5. […] Party, Conservatives, the left, Edinburgh, Solidarity, Britain, Politics. trackback Well done to McGellie for catching the LibDems faking data on their electoral adverts for Edinburgh Central. I already […]

  6. michelle says:

    Siobhan Mathers is also writing letters to SNP voters claiming the SNP have given up trying to win Edinburgh Central and as such are telling their own voters to vote lib dem in order to get Labour out!

    Can you believe this dishonesty from this woman? How dare she deceive SNP voters like this? Every dirty trick in the book she is trying. And Lib Dems make themselves out to be squeaky clean! What hypocrisy!

  7. Meme says:

    I’m so glad someone else has noticed the stupid ‘graph of lies’! I’ve been fuming about it for about two weeks!

    I’m also slightly concerned that people basing their decisions about local candidates on election leaflets and things will not know that Siobhan also happens to be 7 months pregnant…

    I’m not saying that she shouldn’t be able to stand for election or anything like that, but I do think voters have a right to know. I’d be pretty pissed off if the candidate I voted for won and then had to hand over to someone else for a good six months.

    Also, the ‘two horse race’ thing is a well-know Lib Dem tactic. They used to do it (probably still do actually) in my parent’s constituency and I’ve heard of them doing it in other places too. For a party that is supposed to believe in proportional representation, scaring folk into voting tactically is a total contradiction.

    Oh well, it is the Lib Dems after all…that’s what they do.

    P.S. Did you see the new Siobhan Mather ‘magazine’ leaflet… *cringe, cringe, cringe*

  8. Graham says:

    I actually complained to the lib dems about the dodgy ‘skewed’ graph and got the following (incoherent) reply…


    26/04/2007 13:08
    Dear Graham,

    I’m sorry you think my graph is misleading.

    They are not intended to be eye-catching rather than misleading. The results used are from real elections and clearly mark the percentages of the vote polled by each party. I really don’t think anybody, who having initially taken the time to look at the graph, then fails to read the percentages.

    If there is anything else I can assist you with please don’t hesitate to contact me again

    Best wishes,

    Siobhan Mathers,

    Scottish Liberal Democrat Candidate,

    Edinburgh Central

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