Top 100… well, top 3… political myths

Well, not 100, we’ve had enough of that on Channel 4 over the Christmas season!

It is incredible, however, how often political/electoral myths get repeated without challenge.

1. “UKIP cost the Conservatives 21 (or more) seats at the 2010 UK General Election.”

No they didn’t – it may have been as few as two.

2. “The exit polls were disastrously wrong at the 1992 General Election.”

BBC “expert” Anthony Foley claims here in 2005 that the exit polls in 1992 ” were completely wrong… [they] said a Labour government, the voters said a Tory government” . But, well, they didn’t (4.30 in), they didn’t predict a Conservative majority but they did suggest the Conservatives would be the largest party – not exactly a “Labour government”.

3. “UCUNF was a disaster and proves the UUP must stand alone.”

In the 17 constituencies in which UCUNF stood, the total vote was (vote shares are for 18, except UCUNF for the 17 in which it stood):

  • 2005 General: UUP 118,445
  • 2005 Local: UUP 115,785
  • 2007 Assembly: UUP 94,011 (79.4% of General figure two years previous)
  • 2010 General: UCUNF 102,631 (86.7% of previous General)
  • 2011 Local: 89,542 (77.3% of previous local)
  • 2011 Assembly: UUP 78,269 votes (76.2% of General figure one year previous)

Comparable vote shares:

  • General 2005 17.7%; 2010 16.4% (17 constituencies); -1.3% (0.3% per year)
  • General 2005 17.7%; 2010 16.9% (with 10,000 of Connor’s 21,300); -0.8% (0.2% per year)
  • Local 2005 18.0%; 2011 15.2% (18 constituencies); -2.8% (0.5% per year)
  • Assembly 2007 14.9%; 2011 13.2% (18 constituencies); -1.7% (0.4% per year)

On the contrary to commonly stated misconception, UCUNF was in fact the more popular brand, performing demonstrably better than the UUP trend otherwise no matter how you read it.

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