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9 More Deeply Dubious Graphs On 2017 Election Leaflets

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the data.

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A couple of weeks ago we had a look at the long-running election tradition of publishing wildly dodgy graphs on political leaflets. You'll be pleased to know the parties are still at it.


5. Look at this shitshow.

Ben Brittain / Lib Dems / Via Twitter: @GavinFreeguard

I mean, even the premise is ridiculous. Who cares whether the Lib Dems have gone up 7 percentage points, if they've gone up from 0% to 7% in a seat where Labour got 55% last time? You only really care about the total.

But even ignoring that, they've got it spectacularly wrong! Look! Apparently 3 is barely a quarter of 7!


6. Everyone's at it, of course. Here's Labour's contribution.

Duncan Hothersall / Scottish Labour / Via Twitter: @search

This isn't the worst, but someone on Twitter said "Outrage as Labour uses accurate graph on election leaflet!" about it, so obviously that was a challenge.

Fun fact: If you add up the SNP, Greens and Lib Dem votes, you get 20,569 – more than the Labour vote. But if you add up the bars on the graph above, they're smaller. So. Not 100% honest, then.

(Update: Duncan Hothersall, the aforementioned tweeter, says the graph was done in Excel and was originally accurate, but that the captions cut off the bottom of the bars.)

7. Back to the Lib Dems, and this one is a DOOZY.

Anna Turley / Lib Dems / Via Twitter: @annaturley

They don't give you the percentages or anything, so you can't see where the sleight of hand is happening. But the actual vote counts were Labour 17,946, Lib Dem 7,558, UKIP 7,516, and Conservatives 6,630.

Here's how that should have looked!

Anna Turley / Lib Dems / BuzzFeed

The gap between the Lib Dems and UKIP was so small that my crude measuring-it-out-on-Photoshop technique lacked the precision to detect it. And both of their votes added together were nowhere near as big as Labour's. Otherwise, great job, guys.


8. More Lib Dems, who really are the masters of this stuff.

Jacob Smith / Lib Dems

That 32 looks suspiciously large, at a glance. It's not terrible, Dawn Barnes of Hornsey and Wood Green, but it's not great.

Tom Chivers is a science writer for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Tom Chivers at

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