While out delivering in Fortis Green, a resident showed me a leaflet they had received from the local Tories – partly as they were surprised to get a leaflet from someone other than the local Lib Dems and partly as they were amused by the title: It’s a three horse race.
It is a hilarious leaflet. The Conservative candidate is quoted as describing Hornsey & Wood Green as:
A classic 3-way marginal seat
Ho hum. Classic 3-way marginal? Hardly. The leaflet then uses a very suspect ‘how you intend to vote’ graph which they claim is based on a sample of 9,000 voters and shows only 190 votes between the three parties. Ho hum again.
Leaving aside the dubious Conservative party stats, let’s look at real stats – the result of the last general election (2005) in Hornsey & Wood Green:
Lynne Featherstone (Lib Dem) - 20,512 (43.3%)
Labour - 18,117 (38.3%)
Conservative - 6,014 (12.7%)
Others - 2687 (5.7%)
A three way marginal? It is marginal, but not three way. The Conservative candidate has as much chance of winning Hornsey & Wood Green as I have of flying to the moon for Easter.
The Conservative share of the vote has fallen in Hornsey & Wood Green at every general election since 1992, right down to the 12.7% they got last time. I don’t think anyone’s going to be fooled by this latest attempt by the Tories to pull the wool over the eyes of Haringey's voters. But just in case they are at least managing to fool themselves, I have permanently put actual, real, genuine stats at the top of my blog. So the Conservative candidate may want to refer back to these stats - real votes cast in real ballot boxes - before he gets too carried away.
Looking at the Tory quote, above, I was reminded of another quote I recently saw:
He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts - for support rather than illumination