Tamworth by-election result shows HUGE difference ‘framing’ makes

This week saw an election in the Tamworth ward of Glascote. It was a Labour hold, but the way in which it was presented suggested a poor result in which Labour lost votes and barely clung on:

glascote be.png

However, as Twitter users were quick to point out, the choice of 2014 as the point of comparison created an impression that was very different compared to the more recent and relevant 2016 results:

glascote a.png

Compared to 2016, Labour gained eleven points, rather than losing fourteen. The 2016 comparison also showed that in Glascote Labour appears to have taken a significant share of the collapsing UKIP vote – and achieved an increase in spite of a Green candidate standing when there was none previously.

Two very different perspectives – one fitting the mainstream media’s current dishonest campaign that the UK has reached ‘peak Corbyn’ and the other emphatically not.

The ‘Corbyn Supporters 50+’ Twitter account was quick to spot the significance:

cs50 be2.png

This tactic is one that all citizens need to understand and watch out for. The Tories routinely claim to have achieved an improvement compared to some historic high/low point in some area – but a closer look reveals that all the improvement was achieved by Labour up to 2010, while the trend under the Tories is in the wrong direction.

Edit: for the avoidance of doubt, since BritainElects raised an objection, their tweets are shown as an example of the difference ‘framing’ makes. BE are not ‘MSM’ nor, as far as SKWAWKBOX is aware, Tories.

Dishonest ‘framing’ of arguments, statistics and history are a standard Tory ploy for misleading the public. Awareness of the tactic neutralises its effectiveness – so we need to shout loud about it when we see it.

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  1. V. puzzled. According to the 5 May 2016 result on Tamworth Council’s website UKIP won in Glascote. So this is a LAB GAIN compared to 2016.


    Also “UKIP 10.8% (-27)” suggests they had ~38%, larger than “LAB 24.7% (-14)” equating to ~29% in 2016, so just looking at the tweet itself something looked wrong. The Council website had UKIP at 37.26% and LAB at 30.68%.

  2. True But I don’t mind them believing we’ve reached peak Corbyn. We want May to go for it again.

  3. Steve I’m a big fan of yours, but I’m also a big fan of Britain Elects who seem to me to present useful info impartially week in week out. So, yes framing makes a big difference, but there are “normal” ways to report data. I doubt Britain Elects have done anything to skew the message.

    1. There’s no suggestion they have. It’s purely a useful example of how the presentation of the same data can lead to a markedly different perception

  4. At least one founder of the Britain Elects site was an ardent Blairite, so some degree of prejudice is to be expected.

    It’s not usually as blatant as this, though.

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