Lib Dems accused of misleading voters with ‘polling expert’ leaflet
The Lib Dems have been accused of misleading voters with a letter from a "polling expert".
The leaflet has a large picture of Mike Smithson, who it describes as a "polling and elections expert" at the top, and urges locals to vote tactically in next week's eleciton.
Mr Smithson has been a member of the Lib Dems since the party was formed, standing twice as an MP and serving three times as a councillor.
But only at the very bottom of the leaflet, in very small letters, does it reveal the letter was sent on behalf of the Liberal Democrats .
The text of the letter varies between constituencies – but many versions suggest the election in the target constituency is "between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives" – urging locals to vote tactically.
Some versions end by saying: "I'm not here to tell you who to vote for, but I hope this information is useful to you when making a decision in this election."
Social media users posted pictures of the leaflet, complaining to the party that it was misleading – both for not declaring openly enough that it was from the Lib Dems, and saying it did not properly reflect the constituency.
A Lib Dem spokesman told The London Economic: “The letter reflected data that was correct at the time of printing. As is stated repeatedly in the letter, in these constituencies, Liberal Democrat success depends on Conservative voters lending us their vote.”
At the start of November, the party was accused of using misleading data on leaflets to suggest they were polling ahead of other parties in certain constituencies.
One such leaflet distributed in Putney told residents Labour "can't win here", even though the Liberal Democrat candidate finished third behind Labour and the Tories at the 2017 election.
The Lib Dems said the projections had been used on a local level but "would not be used on national campaigns".
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