While the audience certainly seemed happier to cheer for Caroline Lucas than Amber Rudd, the sample was deliberately chosen to be representativeby Stephanie Boland / June 1, 2017 / Leave a comment
“FURY AT BIAS ON BBC TV DEBATE,” said the Daily Mail headline. True, last night’s audience did seem ready to cheer on the smaller parties while jeering at Amber Rudd—who was filling in for Theresa May—when she asked that the Tories be judged on their record. But was the debate audience really biased?
According to a methodology note issued by ComRes, who handled recruitment for the BBC TV Debate, every attempt was made to “recruit a representative sample.”
“The recruitment process,” their note says, “was stringent, securing a balanced audience using recognised, high quality and best-practice recruitment techniques.”
Every participant was screened, with demographic questions used to balance age, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status and employment status. Adults who had “campaigned politically at any election from 2014 onwards” were also filtered out.
Trust me – we did the recruit and the sweat and tears i put into those quotas shows otherwise!
— Dan Holden (@DanSHolden) May 31, 2017
ComRes then divided up the audience into 20 per cent Labour voters, 20 per cent Conservative, and 10 per cent each of the Liberal Democrats, SNP and UKIP, as well as 5 per cent from the Greens and Plaid Cymru.
This breakdown was designed to reflect both the result of the 2015 General Election and “current voting intention trends.”
The sharp-eyed will have spotted that doesn’t add up to 100 per cent—that’s because ComRes also brought in “undecided” voters, who were wa…