That Election Map Everyone Is Saving Is Fake
Want to put your own twist on some results? Open Photoshop and get cracking.
A fake map purporting to show the real results of last week's elections has gone viral.
The map, which purports to show Labour's success in last week's local elections, went viral over the weekend as people defended the party's performance.
While there had been widespread predictions that the party would lose hundreds of council seats across England and Wales, Jeremy Corbyn's party instead beat expectations and only lost 18 wards. In the process, Labour held on to most of the councils it already controlled.
After weeks of the party's chances being talked down, some Labour supporters were understandably keen to celebrate the relative victory and started sharing this map.
The problem is this map is completely wrong and doesn't resemble any real election results.
For a start, there were no local elections in swathes of England and Wales, meaning a realistic map would have large gaps in the results where no council elections were held.
Moreover, it ignores areas in Scotland and Wales where the Conservatives made substantial gains – one of the big stories of the real election night. And it gives the impression that Labour has taken control of vast chunks of rural middle England.
It also features a spurious "Gov.UK" logo placed on the graphic for no particularly good reason.
This is what the map of Thursday's election results really looks like.
So why are people sharing the fake version?
This map began appearing on social media on the day after the poll. It was given a boost by a tweet from fake TV journalist Jonathan Pie, played by actor Tom Walker. He said he didn't make the map and does not know where it originally came from.
However, Walker said it plays into a wider distrust of the media and political reporting, especially when it comes to Jeremy Corbyn and Labour.
"People know when they're being spun a line and the run-up to the local election was about how Labour are going to do really badly," he said. "Normally in the run-up to a local election it's about how are the incumbents doing and there was nothing about this. People were being spun a line, they knew they were being spun a line, they were thirsty for the actual facts, so they'll go with anything."
Or, as he put it more succinctly: "If there's a void of facts then people will fill it with any old shit."