Numbers have never been a strong point for the left. Hence why Owen Jones and his new mate Charlotte Church were pushing the quarter of a million figure for Saturday’s march in London. It’s nonsense.
Even lefties are sceptical:
Saturday's anti-austerity march was impressive but you can't get 250,000 – 3 Wembley crowds – in Parliament Square! pic.twitter.com/oqR3EdorpM
— Kevin Maguire (@Kevin_Maguire) June 22, 2015
While the police will not publicly give a figure, a source tells Guido this morning that Parliament Square can hold around 20,000 people. With a bit of overflow, the working estimate is around 25,000…
250,000 would fill not only Parliament Square but Whitehall and Trafalgar Square too. Twice over.
In order for the comrades to have achieved 250,000 people on their march, 5,000 people would have to have left the starting point at Bank every minute – almost 100 per second – in the time they claimed to have achieved this fantasy number. “A tight military formation couldn’t even do that,” Guido’s public order numbers bod derides.
Are the lefties really saying they had the same number of people who marched on Washington in 1963 at the height of the Civil Rights movement – put at between 200,000 and 250,000:
Is Owen Jones really saying he is a bigger draw than Martin Luther King?
250,000 was also the figure given for Obama’s famous speech in Berlin in 2008:
Notice a difference in the size of the crowd?
This is what 250,000 people looked like when Paul McCartney played in Mexico in 2012.
Shall we look at Saturday’s picture again?
Looks about a tenth of the size… pretty shoddy journalism for the papers to just regurgitate the number given by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity without so much as a raised eyebrow.
Most of the analysis of the pollsters’ collective nightmare has blamed the ‘Shy Tories’ – people who planned on voting Tory but didn’t tell the pollsters. Ipsos MORI have a different theory: that ‘Lazy Labour’ supporters not turning up to vote skewed the numbers.
The final MORI poll suggested 12.5 million people would vote Tory, just ahead of 12.2 million voting Labour.
They weren’t too far off on the Tory number – 11.3 million voted Tory on the day – but some 3 million Labour supporters went missing. Where did they go? MORI chief Ben Page says:
“we think not voted. Predicted turnout 82% day before. Was only 66%”
Their analysis suggests it was young left-wing voters not turning out on the day that explains the difference. The Russell Brand effect…
The BBC website lost all semblance of editorial impartiality yesterday, but how are they faring today? This headline makes their homepage this morning:
The claim comes from a report by the Trussell Trust, press released this morning as “Food bank use tops one million for first time”. It would be reasonable to assume from both that title and the BBC headline that, currently, one million people are using food banks. Is that the case?
Scroll down to the very bottom of the Trussell Trust press release, and of the “million” in the headline, they admit “on average 49 percent of foodbank users only needed one foodbank voucher in a year”.
In fact, “only 15 percent needed help more than three times in a year”. So it is misleading in the least to imply that a million people are currently using food banks.
What’s more, the Trussell Trust ‘fess up: “We cannot measure unique users on a national scale”. The “million” is not even a unique figure, it counts those who use foodbanks on more than once occassion twice.
But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good election story…
UPDATE: Full Fact also take issue with the headline:
“The claim that over a million people are using Trussell Trust food banks is inaccurate. It comes from confusing the number of different people using Trussell Trust food banks in a year with the number of times they use the food banks.
The Trussell Trust collect their data from the vouchers used by people referred to their food banks. If one voucher feeds a family of 4 people, that’s 4 instances. If the same family visit again next week, that’s another 4 instances. The Trussell Trust say that on average people needed two food bank vouchers annually, so the number of people using food banks is likely to be around half of the 1.1 million figure.”
Even after Labour’s manifesto mea culpa about fiscal responsibility, Ed would still not say he thought Labour spent too much before the crisis. He had his audience cheering as he yelled “absolutely we were right to invest in those things”:
Miliband told the Labour manifesto launch:
“It was the financial crisis that caused the deficit…”
The financial crisis caused the deficit that Labour ran in 2002/3?
And grew in 2003/4?
And in 2004/5?
And in 2005/6?
“It was the financial crisis that caused the deficit…” in 2006/7?
And in 2007/8?
After five years of the public ignoring politics, it seems the election is finally getting cut through. Though Labour will disappointed at how little the public noticed their non-dom hit:
Don’t you know there’s a war on?
Well this is awkward for The People’s Party. Should Labour be the largest party in parliament, 25.51% of MPs are likely to be Oxbridge graduates. However, that number drops to 20.86% in a Conservative-led Parliament. According to research and analysis by the Insight Consulting Group, more newly-elected MPs would be university educated in a Parliament where Labour has the largest party (158) as opposed to the Conservatives (139). So much for being the party of social mobility…