Saturday, 10 June 2017

"We have a balanced audience here"

When David Dimbleby announced Labour's victory in Kensington the audience burst out in loud cheers and applause, provoking complaints of bias.
There are two counter-points that can be made to this though - and I'll get them in before the BBC does! 

Firstly, when you watch the video closely and look at who's doing the wild clapping and cheering it doesn't seem to me to be the majority of the audience, merely heavily-clustered clumps of the audience. (50/50 maybe?)

And secondly, David Dimbleby didn't exactly look very happy at this eruption of loud partisanship, quickly (and defensively) saying, "We have a balanced audience here" and then inviting the 'other side of the audience' to give voice to their reaction too. ("Let's hear from those who think that's an error", he said).  

Though the response from 'the other side of the audience' was considerably weaker, I'm putting that down to Corbyn supporters being much more vocal and the Right being much less given to manic whooping and hollowing than the Left. 

So, yes, I'm giving the BBC the benefit of the doubt on this one. As Gaunty would say,  are you with me or are you agin me? 


"Alas poor Mr Winnick!" (victim of the Newsnight curse)

It does bear repeating (from the Election Night thread) though that some BBC audiences are more biased than others.

It made me laugh out loud when the Walsall North result was declared on Friday morning - especially given that it went against the trend of results coming in from England. 

I was laughing at Newsnight.

Regular readers will know that Newsnight presented us with a voter panel from Walsall North earlier this very week where not one of the eight selected voters (chosen by IPSOS Mori) said they would be voting Conservative  and the two declared former Conservative voters said they were either undecided or going for Labour. It was so dramatic that I wrote:
So, if this panel is representative then Labour veteran David Winnick should have absolutely no fears on election day. His 1,937 majority in 2015 looks set to be massively increased as the Tory vote collapses. 
David Winnick was one of the very small number of Labour MPs in England who actually lost their seat this week (which he'd held since 1979). The Conservative vote went up by 16% there, unseating him.

Theresa May should have asked Newsnight to run voter panel editions in every constituency. She might have got her elusive landslide after all!


  1. I have had the same impression that Corbynistas tend to be much more vocal and make a lot more noise in the studio than an equal number of their counterparts. When we got the rare wide shot of the audience during the various QT specials, the small bunch making most of the noise was quite visible. This is something we've noticed for years, I think, and is important to point out, even when it's in the BBC's defense.

  2. “Our government is the mediator between the DUP and SinnFein” said Alastair Campbell - of the alliance between the Tories and the DUP.

    “How can you broker the peace between two sides when one side is propping you up? You’re in hock to one side, how can you be the broker… How does that work?” says Shami, (the person who produced a whitewash of an enquiry into antisemitism, before being given a peerage.)
    How does that work?