The Europhobic part of the Fourth Estate has entered the rapture today over the news that Labour is apparently set to lose the Stoke on Trent Central by-election to UKIP, and by a double-digit margin. This is, of course, proof that Paul Nuttall, the Kippers’ new leader, is actually a credible political figure, and not a flip-flopping, unprincipled, dishonest, fantasist loudmouth with a seriously dodgy political past.
Ullo Stoke people, gorra new motor?
One look at the “Bad Bootle Meff” and his recent less than stellar media performances, together with the EU fraud unit being hot on the heels of his expense claims, should have caused the press pack to stop and think. But stopping and thinking is not part of the modern tabloid lexicon, and so they have not. Typical of the frankly hysterical reaction has been the contribution of the Murdoch mafiosi at the Sun.
“STOKED FOR VICTORY Ukip’s Paul Nuttall predicted to trounce Labour and win Tristram Hunt’s Stoke Central seat by TEN points … Labour is on course to come second on 25 per cent - despite Hunt's large majority - and the Tories third on 10 per cent” screams the headline, going on to tell “Brexit-backing campaign group Labour Leave said it believe UKIP would take the seat with 35 per cent of the vote”.
Er, how does a “belief” translate into a credible opinion poll? The Express seems to have the answer as it triumphantly announces “ANOTHER POLITICAL EARTHQUAKE: Ukip leader on track to EASILY win Stoke by-election … A NEW poll has revealed that Ukip leader Paul Nuttall is on track to easily win the Stoke Central by-election and cause a political earthquake”. Ah, so there is an opinion poll.
So who carried it out? “According to the poll 30 per cent of the Stoke Central voters who indicated ‘Don’t Know’ for the upcoming byelection previously voted Labour while 10 per cent voted UKIP and 46 per cent for the Lib Dems … Meanwhile 81 per cent who intend to vote Ukip are former Labour voters … The results have been taken by leading Brexiteers in Labour to call on the party to stop dithering over Article 50 and pick a pro-Brexit candidate in Stoke”. We don’t get to find that out.
That no reputable polling organisation has been cited, along with the marginally inconvenient fact that Labour is yet to choose its candidate, should have been other reasons for the press pack to stop and think. But the ever-reliable Mike Smithson at Political Betting has the most likely answer. And it’s not a good one for the Sun and Express.
“How the Express is reporting the Stoke central ‘poll’ which wasn't. I'm told it was Facebook survey of 179 people”. The sample size, and the fact that the poll by its nature would have been self-selecting and therefore open to abuse, means it should never have been even considered by the press. But such was the desperation of Labour Leave, and the Europhobic press to hear news that fitted their agenda, that they went ahead anyway.
This is how Fake News gets a foothold in the UK - because the established press spews out so much of it already. Murdoch and Desmond goons duly busted.