Contact details

contact email address

Monday, 16 April 2012

Poll shows debate broadcasting rules are unfair

The latest YouGov poll on the contest for the London mayoralty show that Labour's Ken Livingstone has closed the gap on Conservative Boris Johnson on first preferences from eight points to five. More heartening for Boris is that with the second preferences he leads 53/47 against Ken. Although on first preferences both main candidates are actually down on last month:

Boris Johnson 45% -4
Ken Livingstone 40% -1
Brian Paddick 7% +2
Lawrence Webb 3% +2
Siobhan Benita 2% +2
Jenny Jones 2% +1%
Carlos Cortiglia 1% +1
Don't Know 9% -4
Wont vote 1% -7

The main story from this poll is that Jenny Jones, the Green party candidate, should be doing a lot better considering she has been getting equal coverage with Boris Johnson, Ken Livingstone & Brian Paddick being on the platform for all of the debates: LBC, Newsnight, the Standard, Stonewall to name a few and she will be on the BBC and ITV London ones as well despite polling lower than the UKIP candidate Lawrence Webb - who wont be on the platform and polling equally with independent Siobhan Benita who also wont be on the platform.

Although Ms Jones hasn't been invited onto the main Skynews debate with Boris Johnson, Ken Livingstone & Brian Paddick on Thursday 19th April. I assume like Siobhan Benita & Lawrence Webb she will be on the "post debate discussion". so while the smaller party candidates are on the air the spin room will go into overdrive, meaning the majority of the media will be ignoring the "post debate discussion". Just as the "post debate discussion" on LBC was practically ignored although the reports from the lift on that day didn't help!

The BNP campaign refuse to speak to bloggers and freelance journalists so I can't confirm whether Mr Cortiglia will be at the Skynews post debate discussion or not.

Responding to the YouGov poll Mrs Benita said: “I am getting this level of support with a virtual broadcast black out and no party behind me. I demand at the very least equal exposure with Jenny Jones on the upcoming ITV and BBC TV debates. The mayoral election is about an individual. Broadcasting rules based on parties and previous elections are skewing coverage and discriminating against a serious independent candidate like me. The rules are not fit for purpose and the broadcasters need to exercise their editorial judgement and take account of political circumstances to stop coverage of this mayoral election becoming a farce. Voters have the right to know who they are voting for”.

Jenny Jones tweeted "A poll in Brighton two weeks before election day in 2010.....Put Caroline Lucas 4th. She won of course. Green votes come out late??"

Whether that is the case or not. It is now time for either Siobhan Benita and Lawrence Webb to be added to the hustings or Jenny Jones be removed from them. Skynews have not invited Ms Jones and both the BBC & ITV should rescind their invitations as it can't not be fair in anybodies eyes for one candidate to be allowed into a debate but with other candidates with either higher or equal poll ratings being excluded till the after show.