Tuesday 8 October 2019

Jess Phillips rivals Puck and puts a girdle round her consituency in 46 minutes

On today's Politics Live Labour MP Jess Phillips, talking about the 2017 general election, said:
It's funny you should say that because obviously we do a lot of polling during election time as politicians. We knock on lots of doors. I knocked on 25,000 doors in that six week period and 12 times somebody mentioned Brexit to me.
Jo Coburn didn't question her maths but, if you work out the averages, that means that Jess knocked on 4,167 doors each week of her campaign.

This also means that if she campaigned seven days a week throughout those six weeks without a single day off she knocked on 595 doors each day.

And if she didn't sleep and knocked on those doors 24/7 (as they say in America), that would result in 25 knocks an hour. 

But, of course, she must have slept - and so must her constituents. 

So let's assume that she only knocked on doors during daytime hours but still did very long days.

Let's say (being very generous) that she campaigned for 13 hours - say from 8am to 9pm.

Well, that would result in an average of 46 doors being knocked per hour...

...giving each voter just about a minute of Jess's time in which not to mention Brexit. 

It's theoretically possible, of course, but given the fact that...

(a) Jess must have had lunch and taken other breaks (such as toilet breaks and mobile phone calls and lots of BBC interviews), and...

(b) Jess surely can't simply have gone door-to-door among 595 very-closely-spaced houses without crossing roads and changing streets or moving areas, and...

(c) Jess surely can't have spent just a minute at each and every property, from leaving one house to reaching next door's door bell and introducing herself and making her pitch and listening to her constituents and saying goodbye,

...then, ergo, she's probably wildly overstating the number of doors she knocked at during the 2017 election.

Unless she's Superwoman or Wonder Woman or the Bionic Woman.

(And, even then, it's pushing it.)

On the other hand, if Jess isn't wildly overstating the number of doors she knocked at and really did speak to all of those 25,000 door-opening constituents (from leaving the previous house to leaving the next house, and not one of them being out or ignoring the door bell), then no wonder only 12 people mentioned Brexit to her. 

In fact, if she did speak to all of those 25,000 door-opening constituents then the true miracle (a miracle of miracles) is that even as many as 12 people managed to mention Brexit to her. 

Think about it:  Unless the voter opening to the door to her immediately yelled 'Brexit!' and then slammed the door in her face prompting her to make a very quick exit after her very quick arrival, not one of her 25,000 constituents would have had the time to talk about Brexit to her - or anything else for that matter. They would barely have had time to say 'hello' and 'goodbye'.

So maybe Jess should slow down and actually talk to her constituents rather than trying to cram in 46 separate chats with her voters, all in different houses, every hour during a 13-hour day, 7 days a week throughout a campaign lasting 6 long weeks.

Conclusion: Either Jess's self-promoting stat is massively wrong or she's a terrible constituency MP.

Update: Hmm. I see a sub-species of Twitter folk are also doing the sums too and finding the same results. It's hard to get a proper scoop these days. Woe is me!


  1. It seems female Labour politicians are prone not only to exagerration, but innumeracy as well. 25000 divided by 42 = 595/day, and for a 13 hour day (excl lunch, toilet breaks etc) = 45/hr = 1.3 minutes per door. Add 20 seconds for the door to be answered, add 10 seconds to go next door, and this leaves about 45 seconds for a conversation, and I can guarantee some were short (never vote Labour, close door) and some were long (many minutes). The maths simply does not stack up.

    If this is untrue, then we can be sure that the lady is prone to making further statements which are factually incorrect.

    1. And at every door Jess says: "Now, I'm not here to talk about Brexit, so don't even raise the subject or you'll regret it, OK? Let's talk about the NHS...Now how much do you like the NHS? A lot, a huge amount or a great amount?"

  2. You see where you're going wrong, Craig, you're applying standards of accuracy to Jess's claims rather than standards of political correctness as does the BBC. For the BBC, this is a very PC claim and so must be true.

  3. It's not truthspeak
    It's just a soundbite for her own crowd
    Despite them expressing horror at Trump, they are second at PR , so they are copying his techniques.


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