Cameron overclaims party’s online engagement

Speaking at a conference this morning, David Cameron claimed 150,000 people had engaged in his party's manifesto process. The claim is out by a factor of 25.

Speaking at Stephan Shakespeare’s Post-Bureaucratic Age conference this morning in east London, David Cameron exaggerated the amount of engagement in the party’s manifesto process by a factor of 25.

In answer to a question from the audience about his party’s use of online tools, Cameron said:

“We had 150,000 people voting online [on our draft manifesto] … I think you’d be surprised if 100,000 normally read a manifesto.”

But the Conservative’s own website show that this is a huge exaggeration. The party has received:

• 6,881 votes from 521 people on transparent government;

• 29,161 votes from 1,326 people on the economy;

• 36,180 votes from 1,546 people on education; and

• 40,002 votes from 2,606 people on the NHS.

In total, 5,999 people have voted 112,224 times, an average of 18 times each. Cameron’s claim was out by a factor of 25.

This isn’t the first time that the Tories have been questioned for over-claiming the amount of engagement in their online manifesto process. Last month, Will Heaven wrote on his Telegraph blog, “The Conservatives are playing a dangerous game with their draft manifesto”

“Last week, David Cameron was asked just 1,109 questions about the NHS by 2,612 people, who rated other people’s questions 40,000 times (needless to say, it’s that last figure you’ll hear the most about). This week there’s no improvement. David Cameron is taking questions on education, but has so far received only 631 questions from 1,364 people, who have rated other questions 32,749 times.

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18 Responses to “Cameron overclaims party’s online engagement”

  1. ian

    It seems miscounting is endemic amongst tories – they can’t count teenage mums, their poster boy Iain Dale can’t count his own readers and now this. If I’d spent thousands of pounds on a public school education like Cameron’s parents, I’d be asking for my money back.

  2. Anon E Mouse

    ian – Nice one! : – )

  3. Liz McShane

    Plus they also have a problem with decimal points and analysing statistics! They would just be great with the economy!

  4. James Cowley

    The Typical Tories, always the hunters of hysteria, and headlines. It’s a shame the mainstream media has lost its touch, and forgot what investigative journalism is. If journalists actually did their jobs, instead of chasing the money (i.e. ratings, selling papers) then we would have a more representative and un biased media.

    You can only dream.

  5. Richard Blogger

    After ToryBear tweeted that “Tories say sod twitter” and that the Tories “get” social media, I went to the Cameron MSN chat last week. The video has a helpful count listing how many people were watching. The count never went above 220. I tweeted ToryBear to congratulate him that since he has 2400 followers he is ten times more popular than Dave. ToryBear didn’t care to comment.

  6. Mr. Sensible

    Very interesting.

  7. Tom Callow

    As has been shown, the Tories not only don’t understand how to set up online engagement, they also don’t know how to make it work once it’s there. MyConservatives failed miserably to deliver on all counts, as exposed at http://bit.ly/MyCon

  8. Samuel Tarry

    RT @mydavidcameron: Cameron overclaims party’s online engagement http://bit.ly/dBZl5p < Interesting article and comments on @leftfootfwd

  9. cocklewoman

    RT @mydavidcameron: Cameron overclaims party’s online engagement http://bit.ly/dBZl5p < Interesting article and comments on @leftfootfwd

  10. David Cameron

    Oh no! Don't tell me we've been caught out again (yikes): http://bit.ly/dBZl5p

  11. bee hive

    RT @mydavidcameron: Cameron overclaims party’s online engagement http://bit.ly/dBZl5p < Interesting article and comments on @leftfootfwd

  12. Teresa

    RT @mydavidcameron: Cameron overclaims party’s online engagement http://bit.ly/dBZl5p < Interesting article and comments on @leftfootfwd

  13. Tristan Osborne

    RT @SamTarry: RT @mydavidcameron: Cameron overclaims party’s online engagement http://bit.ly/dBZl5p < Interesting article and comments on @leftfootfwd

  14. Deborah Grayson

    RT: @mydavidcameron: Cameron overclaims party’s online engagement http://bit.ly/dBZl5p < #torymaths

  15. Louise Thumwood

    RT @mydavidcameron: Cameron overclaims party’s online engagement http://bit.ly/dBZl5p < Interesting article and comments on @leftfootfwd

  16. Scott A J Reynolds

    RT @uklabour: More dodgy stats from the Tories – http://bit.ly/a9Brwk

  17. bee hive

    RT @mydavidcameron Cameron overclaims party’s online engagement http://bit.ly/dBZl5p < Interesting article and comments on @leftfootfwd

  18. Lies, damn lies and Conservative statistics | Political Scrapbook

    […] numbers. And unlike the promotion for Irish stout, some of the figures in the video were actually used by what purports to be a serious political […]

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