Exclusive: party research into effectiveness of bar charts leaked

Courtesy of the traditional route of documents left on Parliamentary photocopiers, The Voice has seen the results of an in-depth piece of market research the party has carried out into the use of bar charts in Liberal Democrat leaflets and other literature.

The research, including focus groups and a national opinion poll, found that by a margin of 63% – 18% the public disagree with the statement,  “We receive too many bar charts from the Liberal Democrats”.

This margin is likely to please many of the party’s most experienced campaigners, as is the finding that by 72% – 9% people agree with the comment that “Liberal Democrat bar charts look much nicer than those from other parties”. Focus group work reveals that the 9% are largely people who don’t like hand-drawn pictures of “a two-horse race”. As one person (male, mid-30s, Scotland) said, “How can you take seriously a party that can’t even afford to get a proper photo of a pair of horses?”

It’s not all good news for the party’s traditional campaign techniques though. In a series of online tests, the party tried out bar charts against other graphical devices to see which were most effective at getting a message over.

Whilst bar charts were found to be better than other forms of graph for explaining sporting statistical information (bar charts showing the number of test matches lost by different cricket teams are particularly effective) – but that bar charts work much less well for politics.

Perhaps surprisingly, pie charts are found to be the most effective. The focus group report concludes, “For Mosaic E (urban intelligence), bar charts with statistical footnotes are the most effective graphic device. However, for all other Mosaic groups, and particularly residents of the East Midlands, pie charts are by far the most effective. Based on these findings, we recommend that the party reviews its policy of promoting bar charts.”

LDV hears that no proposal has yet been made to the Federal Executive because a group of Cowley Street staff are making a rearguard action for scatter graphs to be used instead. Any such change will come too late for the Liberal Democrats in Oxfordshire, where a councillor who insisted on using pie charts and who defected to the Conservatives, who are now avid pie chart users.

Read more by .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

7 Comments

  • David Morton 1st Apr '09 - 7:36am

    The best April Fools are the ones that are just about plausible and this one is very good indeed.

  • David Heigham 1st Apr '09 - 11:55am

    American expertise is also relevant. The best pie formula I have encountered thsi year came from there: black raspberries were the key ingredient.

    Incidentally , I thank Letters From A Tory for the most elegant and concise April fool I have seen this century:

    ” the only two relevant parties in British politics “.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • nigel hunter
    I trust the MPs are also monitoring the feelings of all trade unions who are considering strike action. The workers hsve not had good pay rises for some time.Eq...
  • Chris Moore
    The fact that some groups are exquisitely offendible and actually or potentially violent should never be a pretext for censorship of views they are unable to to...
  • James Pugh
    @Caron Lots of things to unpack, so I can’t respond to all the problematic things written You do say that you agree that everyone has the right to say t...
  • Jason Connor
    Can't the national government intervene on this issue or is there anything they can do? The SNP are basically discriminating against the residents of Orkney and...
  • Sadhbh
    The shambles over getting replacement ferries is completely unacceptable. The SNP may have brought in Road Equivalent Tariff to reduce the the costs of using th...