9 Tories of 120 #BBCQT audience ask 29% of questions. Still #CorbynWins #GE17

The BBC Question Time Leaders’ Special tonight was a remarkable event, because there was only one Prime Minister on show and it was not Theresa May.

What makes it all the more remarkable was not the composition of the audience, but the balance of the questioners. It is called Question Time, after all.

The audience consisted of, at a rough count, 120 people. Out of 120 people in a 90-minute special, not everyone is going to get to ask a question – although almost certainly the vast majority would have submitted questions to the show. There simply wouldn’t be time for 120 questions and 120 answers.

But you might be a little surprised to find that some audience members got to ask more than one – especially when you start to notice a little more about the group they belonged to.

Twitter wags have already noticed that three of the audience did seem rather keen to focus on a couple of narrow – and inaccurate – issues:


But what all but the very observant might have missed is that the three were part of a broadly similar group of nine older, white, clearly right-leaning men – a number of whom admitted during Theresa May’s section that they were Tory supporters. Here’s the whole group:

9 old white men

All of these men asked Corbyn aggressive and/or accusatory questions. Some of them got to ask more than one question during the show.

Nine of them. Out of an audience of 120. That’s seven and a half percent of the audience.

Between them, they asked twelve questions – out of a total, give or take, of 42 questions. That’s twenty-nine percent of the questions asked.

So it’s safe to say that whoever decided who was going to be asking questions did not – whether by design or accident – choose a selection that was balanced or, for that matter, fair to the rest of the audience. It will be very interesting when it comes out, as it surely will, to see which of these men are Tory members or officials.

But in spite of these odds and imbalance, Corbyn won. By a country mile and in the opinions of every remotely impartial observer and even some sceptics.

Corbyn gave answers. May gave evasion and meaningless soundbites. May floundered, Corbyn sailed through – past even the ‘horsemen of the apocalypse‘, as another social media wit dubbed them.

But why were 7.5% – a white, elderly, right-wing 7.5% – allowed to ask almost 30% of the questions allowed to a politically-, ethnically-, age-mixed audience of 120 people?

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  1. The interdependency between states which has resulted from globalisation means that if any country discharged a nuclear attack on another country it would cause an economic chain reaction that would lead to the collapse of the entire global economy.

    That is why the probability of nuclear weapons being deployed is currently virtually zero.

    The time to negotiate multilateral disarmament is while this window of opportunity continues to exist.

    The time is now. Yet again, Jeremy Corbyn is on the right side of history.

  2. Why are these people so eager for a prime minister who will give the fire order and kill millions of people and destroy the planet for years after. Without a thought for the consequences. i yr a like an obsession with some people. No other candidate for PM has ever had these levels of questions about Trident that are thrown at Jeremy Corbyn

  3. I hope a prosecution of the BBC for bias will ensue. However, let’s give credit to the sort of people who actually watch these types of programmes: the deliberate, public bullying of a gracious, serious and brilliant man will annoy or outrage the average ,decent, intelligent , viewer, and be counter productive to the smear scheme. Also, if you throw tough questioning at someone with integrity, who has prepared their manifesto, publicly costed it, and has a long public record of BEING RIGHT, the after effect of such treatment should be positive. HOWEVER, it is humiliating for the NATION to have its SUPPOSEDLY neutral national media, being so blatantly bullying and biased in its choice of questioners.

  4. I was very surprised too. How dare Dimbleby went on so long with them. Especially Nuclear matter. It is obvious if we human beings use Nuclear this is the end of the world. It is not the question to make if PM switch red button or not. If so we end the world, death of earth. Why they cannot see. Why Dimbleby allow them to continue so long? So disgusting. He himself said before the show that the QT would not be fair for Corbyn and he did it. If it was 29% of the show, it is not acceptable. Why people cannot see May was lying by mumbling and bumbling? I really cannot understand. What people see in May and in whole scenery of Politics. People have to understand Good people can govern the Country not Evil. Why people prefer Evil to Good. Cameron lied and T.May, too. Majority people experiencing unfair treatments by people who are in power in any levels. Why they cannot see that? In general, people prefer bully because they feel safe if they could belong to bully in order to not to be bullied; is totally nonsense, wrong and mis-concept. Bully only is afraid to be challenged, once being challenged they disappear, and you never get to be bullied. People have to stand with their own feet. This election is a good example of for majority people to be strong, not only against the government but for their daily life.

    1. We only have to look at the destruction to the Marshall Islands that was was a thousand times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima which was 50 years ago and the place is still uninhabitable and ask yourself how powerful will nuclear bombs be today

      It is or should be frightening stuff and enough to say lets end it by having a world agreement and never go there again

  5. Those who questioned Jeremy about TRIDENT need a lesson in STUPIDITY!
    They think retaliation is the done thing when they won’t be around to know anything about it!
    Along with the rest of us who are nothing but DUST or MAIMED AND DEFORMED, WHO WILL DIE LATER AN EXCRUCIATING DEATH!
    If it ever happens, I hope I along with my family are directly under a nuclear explosion.
    For those, who are left, I wish you luck, rebuilding this ONE AND ONLY BEAUTIFUL BLUE PLANET!

  6. BBC has been brow beaten after the last audience was said to be the most bias every against the Conservative so our we to see the BBC muffled if May is returned to power?

  7. Its a silly game to play. If I wanted to make a pol like Corbyn look good, I would ask him an aggressively nasty question. Because he has 30 years practice replying to that sort of thing. he is good at responding to them.

    The way to trip up May would be to ask a question that sounds eminently reasonable but exposes her desperate and despicable policies.

  8. They seemed more UKIP than Tory to me. The audience is selected by a polling company to represent the electorate in the area. So far as I know, the audience puts questions in a box before the show so the questioners are only known by their names. The producers then select questions that they think are topical and representative (I think in that order). As people who follow the lottery know, randomness leads to clustering. This was the luck of the draw. I think it benefited Corbyn. None of it was news. He had another chance to refute old allegations. May was under pressure on new issues.

    I was a parliamentary candidate in 1983. I had to answer this question. Nuclear war should be unthinkable because the world should work to stop it. If a Russian President used a tactical nuclear weapon to destroy a Ukrainian army massing to recover the Donbass, I would not retaliate with a nuclear weapon, perhaps not even with military action.

    What should happen might not be what does happen. In the extremely unlikely event of the UK being under attack with multiple nuclear warheads, I would give the order to fire. Whoever was capable of doing that should be removed for the sake of the rest of surviving humanity; his supporters too whether willing or slaves to break his system.

    The most likely large scale nuclear wars right now are India and Pakistan (India in particular is armed to the teeth). or Russia and China (Russian tactical nukes compensating for huge Chinese armies). Iran against Israel appears to be fading. Britain would not be involved in either of these. India versus Pakistan might lead to a movement for World Disarmanent (but the UK led such a movement after WW1, it just gave space for the USSR and Germany build huge armies). Russia versus China might see nothing worse than dead armies in remote places with few civilian deaths. That could lead to further temptation.

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