Lib Dems accused of using 'misleading' poll to try and overthrow Jacob Rees-Mogg

Britain's Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg leaves 10 Downing street in central London on October 28, 2019. - European Union members agreed today to postpone Brexit for up to three months, stepping in with their decision less than 90 hours before Britain was due to crash out with no divorce deal (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES / AFP) (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg is the MP for North East Somerset. (Getty)

The Liberal Democrats have been accused of publishing misleading polls in a bid to unseat Jacob Rees-Mogg in the upcoming general election.

Bath and North East Somerset Lib Dems were criticised for posting the results of a survey on Twitter which appeared to show their candidate was polling only 6 per cent behind the Leader of the House.

Social media users quickly noticed in the small print below the Survation poll that 405 respondents had been asked how they would vote if “the result between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives were very close”.

Professor Will Jennings, Deputy Head of School, Research and Enterprise, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, told Yahoo News UK: "The presentation is obviously misleading, as the question heavily primes respondents with a scenario that doesn't reflect the result in the previous election.

“Asking people how they would vote if one of your main opponents wasn't standing or competitive is a very odd thing to do."

In a caption posted alongside the tweet Bath and North East Somerset Lib Dems said: “If we work together, and back @nickcoatesnes we will beat Jacob Rees-Mogg in North East Somerset #VoteNickCoates #StopMogg.”


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They later posted the results of the “headline voting intention” figures which show the Lib Dems at 28% (+20) in second place behind the Conservatives on 44% (-10).

Nick Coates, the Lib Dem candidate set to contest Mr Rees-Mogg’s seat in North East Somerset, inisted, however, that his party was in a “challenger role” in the constituency.

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“For critics of our recent use of a bar chart it's worth reading the whole of this thread,” he tweeted alongside the full results of the Survation poll.

“Tories down, Labour down and Lib Dems up into a clear challenger role. In that context our question and the use of the bar chart makes perfect sense.”

Mr Rees-Mogg won North East Somerset with a majority of around 10,000 from the Labour candidate in second place back in 2017.

Bath and North East Somerset Liberal Democrats later told ITV News: “The clear conclusion from this poll is that Lib Dem support is surging in North East Somerset, the Conservatives are dropping fast and Labour are in free fall.

“That is true whichever of the two questions you look at.”