Statement on misuse and mislabelling of data.

As many have seen, campaign material has been distributed by the Liberal Democrats, tweets have been shared by individual candidates and local parties. Most have correctly labelled this data. However a few have either themselves misinterpreted the data or intentionally mislabelled the data for political advantage.

When it comes to mislabelled or intentionally misinforming use of our data my position is as follows. Such mislabelling will include not stating that the data is a projection, not including the date of the data used and not including the source. I expect a recall or deletion of any and all uses that can be thought of this way along with a correction from those involved.

I have intentionally kept out of the debate when it came to the correctly labelled data, however after the recent media coverage and increase in use I have decided to comment. I do not think a single projection of a single seat based on a single poll is acceptable as campaign literature and thus I would completely advice against its use in this way. This is mainly as polls change, underlying demographic data changes and therefore so will our projections. I would urge no more use of our projections in hard copy or not easily amendable campaign literature.    

I have tried to mitigate this problem and I will continue to add information to the site to mitigate this further. The following can be seen on any page that holds a projection:

A title that reads “Flavible Projection of <Pollster>: <Fieldwork End>”

A caveat next to the projected totals that reads “*The prediction table is a projection by Flavible based on these national percentages, do not conflate this with constituency polling”

Further to this, I would like it to be known that Flavible does not supply any data to any political party or individual. Once the data is published it is in the public domain and usable by anyone without manipulation.

I have spent a lot of my time contacting individuals, local representatives and organisations to correct these issues in private. Some of which have listened and amended or removed the offending use of data. Some have not replied at all. Now with the General Election now fully underway and the incidents continuing I feel public measures are necessary. This open statement is my first step.

A short statement on what Flavible does before this statement is wrapped up. Flavible takes national headline voting intention along with underlying demographic data from pollsters that release their data to the public domain. It is then used alongside population data to project how a given seat may vote.

I do apologise to pollsters that have been mixed up in this through no fault of their own, I will continue to act upon any mislabelled data that implies they are releasing data that they are not.

I hope this answers a lot of questions and sees some response from those involved.

George Rushton