Total Politics and the Totally Tory Guide To Political Blogging

Posted by Tim Ireland at 20 October 2008

Category: The Political Weblog Movement, Tories! Tories! Tories!

This entry was posted on
Monday, October 20th, 2008
at
11:08 pm and is filed
under The Political Weblog Movement, Tories! Tories! Tories!.

Short version:

Scroll down to the picture.

Long version:

Hey, do you remember when I wrote a rather complicated (and greatly estimated) post about Iain Dale vastly overstating his popularity and Iain responded by (oops) accidentally making it very easy for me to prove and explain how he had been cheating?

Well, pretty much the same thing has just happened, only without me having write a rather complicated (and greatly estimated) post.

Joy!

After weeks of Iain’s ducking, diving over his dodgy poll of weblogs I was left with some data that might have done the job. Not only did I have to research 70+ blogs from a list that Iain could reject as definitive at any time, but there was also a lot of wriggle-room for Iain to claim that this blog wasn’t formally Conservative and that right-wing community was owned by a leftie and so on and so forth. Big headache.

Then Iain, bless him, dumped sterling silver and solid gold right in my lap.

(A link to the precise moment of discovery. For completists only.)

It is and always has been my position that the Total Politics poll of political weblogs was skewed way, way waaaaay over to the right (and heavily in favour of Iain and his mates way, way waaaaay over to the right).

And here’s the proof:

Compare the top 10 ‘most popular’ blogs from that poll (1,140 participants) to the top ten that resulted from Iain’s recent reader survey (“more than 1,100*” participants).

They are almost identical.

Further, Iain asked those taking his survey specifically about their voting habits; 70% of them are Conservative voters.

Here is a nifty image that explains it all. Feel free to borrow it.

The Total Politics poll is a sham

(Psst! I should have spotted this before I wrote the fine print for my picture, but Iain did ask who reads him daily in a different queston, and even though he neglected to include himself, he officially tops his survey chart, with 83% of his readers reading him at least once a day.)

Now, lately the Tories are doing well in general polls conducted by reputable professionals, and the departure of Prime Methadone Tony Blair did bring a lot of them out of the woodwork and into the blogosphere, but there’s no way in hell that Iain is going to find a poll showing that 70% of blog readers are Conservative voters, unless he conducts that poll in his own backyard.

And in his backyard is exactly where his Total Politics poll was conducted, attracting maybe a dozen or so more participants than his reader survey, and producing almost exactly the same ‘top ten’ result.

Iain can carry on saying the poll “wasn’t meant to be scientific and never pretended to be” if it makes him feel better and perhaps he can even mockingly feign surprise that the majority of his readers are Conservative voters if it brings him joy, but such disingenuous nonsense falls apart the moment he involves a major sponsor (for the third scam running) and slaps a ‘Total Politics’ label on this latest round of self-promoting, Tory-serving bullshit.

Total Politics brands itself as ‘politically neutral’, and this poll of blogs is anything but.

This poll is, essentially, a poll of Conservative voters.

My thanks to Iain for finally confirming that, even if (oops) he didn’t mean to.

(Note – All of this leaves aside Dale’s childish refusal to honour my boycott of the poll, the stupidity of a wannabe politician being the sole counter and auditor of votes in a poll where he is in the running, and the absurdity of a man play-acting as a champion of bloggers when he is in fact an old-fashioned broadcaster with no taste or regard for accountability.)








3 Comments

  1. Justin says

    'And in his backyard is exactly where his Total Politics poll was conducted, attracting maybe a dozen or so more participants than his reader survey, and producing almost exactly the same 'top ten' result.'That's the heart of the matter. If he'd conducted a Total Politics poll over at Total Politics as logic dictates, one man and his dog would have voted. Hosting at his place had three benefits – more participants, more right-wing voters, more inbound links (and therefore ad revenue) for Iain Dale.

  2. Guy Gooberman says

    Off topic but I hope you're on board for the atheist bus advert?

  3. Manic says

    Watch how fast I move.

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