Monday, February 06, 2006

"Simon Hughes Has More Publicly Delared Supporters Than Any Other Candidate"

Simon Hughes, or at least his campaign website likes to trumpet that "Simon has more publicly declared supporters than any other candidate". Certainly, Hughes supporters love to repeat this statistic but what does this claim really mean?

There is good reason for Hughes being in the "lead" for declarations of support - he actively courts declared supporters on his site more than the other candidates. Hughes is an effective gatherer of declarations. This is not by any means a measure of his actual support among Lib Dem members...

Observe; The initial item one sees is a box in the middle of the screen asking for support. Being a declared supporter is a “pre-ticked” option.

Further, at; one can register for handy news updates on Simon's campaign - but you must be a declared supporter first - another incentive to remember to sign up.

Compare this to The "support" section is a sidebar link and a Ming supporter can sign up for news without having to declare for Campbell. As for Chris Huhne over at you'll see a similar un-pushy approach.

When I mentioned this over at Mike Smithson's excellent, one of the wags in the comments section "Andrea" decided to test how filtered the "process" was. Italian super sleuth Andrea quickly announced that he was able to register a few different aliases in support of the Hughes campaign. The form on the front page asks only for an email address. There is no checking of membership ID numbers or similar before names appear on the site. This is not unique among the candidates but it renders the oft-mentioned "Simon has more publicly declared supporters than any other candidate" statistic entirely meaningless...

Hughes A No-Show At Maidstone Hustings;

In other Hughes campaign news, Hughes was billed to appear at the Maidstone hustings on Saturday morning, but was a "no-show" blaming transport problems returning from his Friday night in the party city of Liverpool - "Air Opik" presumably was grounded...

Huhne tries to pin Ming down on 2nd term...

Chris Huhne has been on the old minger's case this weekend, demanding to know exactly how long Ming is intending to stand for. Special Bets have been tipping Ming to win this leadership battle for some time however this weekend we've been laying Ming, backing Huhne and laying Hughes on Betfair. Huhne (unlike Hughes) is increasingly looking like a true contender and we see the gap between Ming and Huhne's odds narrowing.
View the best odds on this market here;
Go directly to the Betfair Betting Exchange. Click here


Anonymous RichardS said...

Slight inaccuracy in your story - Andrea is in fact a "He" (he's Italian)

11:38 AM  
Blogger Admin said...

thanks richards.. have amended to the masculine and added description "Italian Super Sleuth"

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

My fictional identity "Clare LadyWood" lasted about 30 minutes on Hughes' list. Then after I mentioned it on, she disappeared.

Another fictional name appeared this morning on Ming Campbell's list. I won't say it...let's see how that name will last.

Try to do it to see what happens...just use a plausible name and address.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Admin said...

I also notice this section on Hughes' sit "Going to a Lib Dem event that isn't connected to the leadership contest? Download a signature sheet, and collect signatures from supporters who don't have access to the Web, or who don't know about the Website" - all very effective campaigning and another reason his count is higher than the others..

12:50 PM  
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5:20 AM  

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