In just her second appearance as the new host of BBC Question Time, Fiona Bruce has come in for severe criticism after brazenly misleading viewers by falsely claiming that Labour are “definitely” behind the Conservative Party in the opinion polls.

The argument began when right-wing journalist, Isabel Oakeshott, questioned why the Labour Party were attempting to force a General Election when, she claimed, they were supposedly  “miles behind the Tories” in the polls.

Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott, immediately responded to Oakshott’s claim by correctly stating that Labour were about level with the Tories in the polls.

However, the host of BBC Question Time, Fiona Bruce, then decided to interject, falsely telling Abbott that her claim that Labour were about level with the Tories was a lie, stating that Labour were “definitely” behind.

Oakeshott’s initial claim was in reference to a single recent YouGov poll which does indeed show the Labour Party trailing the Tories by six points.

However, vrtually every single other poll conducted in the last month shows Labour either neck and neck with the Tories, or several points ahead.

And just to prove exactly how much of a lie the Question Time host was telling, here are the last 10 polls conducted on Westminster voting intention:

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  1. The latest poll by ComRes, conducted on 14-15 January, shows Labour 3 points ahead of the Tories.
  2. The second most recent poll, conducted by Kantar Public between 10th and 14th January, shows Labour ahead of the Tories by 3 points.
  3. A poll conducted by BMG Research between January 8th and January 11th shows Labour and the Tories level on 38% of the vote.
  4. A poll conducted by Survation – the most accurate pollster during the 2017 election – between 9th and 10th of January, shows Labour again ahead of the Tories by 3 points.
  5. Then comes the infamous YouGov poll, conducted between 21st December and January 4th – as referenced by Oakshott and Bruce – which bucks the trend by putting Labour 6 points behind the Tories.
  6. Immediately before this was a poll conducted by Opinium, between 18th and 20th of December, which puts Labour and the Tories neck and neck on 39%.
  7. Another YouGov poll, conducted between 12th and 14th December, shows Labour behind the Tories by 4 points.
  8. However, a poll conducted between the 10th and 11th December by Populus Polls shows Labour ahead of the Tories by 3 points.
  9. A poll conducted by Opinium between the 13th and 14th December shows Labour ahead of the Tories by 1 point.
  10. And finally, another poll conducted by YouGov, between 6th and 7th December, shows the Tories leading Labour by 1 point.

Indeed, out of the last 10 polls conducted, Labour have been ahead of the Tories in exactly half of them, with five. The Tories have only been ahead of Labour in just three.

Furthermore, every single one of the polls which put the Tories ahead of Labour have been conducted by YouGov, whilst polling by Kantar Public, Survation, Opinium, BMG Research and Populus, put Labour either ahead or level with the Conservative Party.

Furthermore, the widely respect polling aggregator, Britain Elects, have a polling tracker which clearly shows – when taking into account polling conducted throughout the last year – Labour actually hold a small lead over the Tories, but are essentially neck and neck, as Diane Abbott correctly claimed.

You can watch Fiona Bruce’s lie below:

Unsurprisingly, given that the BBC’s political output is supposed to be both impartial and based on facts, Fiona Bruce’s false claim that Labour were somehow “definitely” behind the Tories in the polls came in for stinging criticism.

Indeed, Labour MP Paul Sweeney called on the BBC to make a correction for the brazen lie, writing on Twitter:

“Labour are way behind in the polls.” What polls are Fiona Bruce and talking about? I hope make a clear, on air, clarification and the new host apologises for inadvertently reinforcing a flagrant inaccuracy by that far right libertarian.

And the Senior Editor of Novara Media, Aaron Bastani, was equally as critical of the BBC, tweeting:

“Last 4 polls

• Kantar – Labour lead by 3%

• ComRes – Labour lead by 2%

• BMG – Labour level

• Survation – Labour lead by 3%

Fiona Bruce, heading BBC flagship politics program “Labour are behind in the polls

These are the people protecting us from fake news?”

And the justified criticism didn’t stop there:

The BBC are yet to make either a clarification or an apology for their flagrant lie.

Evolve Politics have contacted the BBC both via email and via their press office. We are still to receive an official response.

You can use this link to make a complaint to the BBC. 

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