General Election: Ruth Davidson criticised over ‘misleading’ leaflet

Labour's Ian Murray
Labour's Ian Murray
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The Tory leader in Scotland has been challenged to justify some questionable polling claims on her party’s election material.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has been challenged over a leaflet being distributed ahead of the General Election which appears to present national polling data as local.

Ian Murray, Labour’s sole Scottish MP at the last election, tweeted a photo of a poll from the Conservatives that had been distributed in his constituency of Edinburgh South.

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The leaflet, as is common in marginal seats, attempted to show that the SNP could only be caught by the Tories as proved by the poll which showed the SNP on 44 per cent, the Tories on 33, and Labour a distant third on 13.

An arrow pointing to the lower end of the poll also declared ‘Labour and the Lib Dems can’t win here.’

Normally, the data in such polls will be specific to a given constituency, usually from a previous local or national election result.

Mr Murray tweeted: “@RuthdavidsonMSP can you publish the date, detailed fieldwork and all data from Edinburgh South that makes you claim this? Fake poll???”

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The poll cited was a Panelbase survey for the Sunday Times that showed the results in the leaflets on a national level, not specific to the Edinburgh South constituency.

Twitter users told Mr Murray that they had been sent a similar version of the leaflet citing national data in other parts of Edinburgh and Lothians.

Stephanie Smith, who was billed as being ‘Ruth Davidson’s candidate’ is currently rated a 6/1 outsider for the seat, and her claim that “Labour can’t win here” in a seat Ian Murray’s party have held for 30 years seems especially dubious.

Mr Murray told Buzzfeed earlier today that he had been angered by the leaflet, which he described as a ‘misrepresentation of the truth’.

The Scottish Conservatives have yet to respond to a request for comment.