BBC apologises for not including Green Party on polling report despite overtaking Lib Dems

A Green Party activist wrote to the BBC to complain

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The BBC has apologised for including the Liberal Democrats in its polling coverage, but leaving out the Green Party which was a percentage point ahead.

A party activist complained to the BBC after it broadcast a graph showing the results of a YouGov/Sun poll on the 5 December episode of Andrew Neil’s Daily Politics, which included the Liberal Democrats polling at 7 per cent, but not the Greens at 8 per cent.

The graph also showed the Conservatives at 31 per cent, Labour at 32 per cent and Ukip at 15 per cent.

In a letter responding to the complaint seen by the Bright Green website, the BBC admitted that not including the Green Party was “an error”.

“The Green Party’s polling of 8% should have been included in the graph. I am sorry for the mistake and appreciate you taking the time to contact the BBC,” it read.

Read more: Four out of five would like to see Green Party leader in 2015 election's TV leadership debates

In a post on the website, Bright Green reasoned that the mistake may have lay in the fact that YouGov does not include a Green Party line its voting intentions graphs.

The BBC told The Independent: "This was a mistake and we apologised for the omission”.

The response comes after an ICM poll published on Friday revealed that four out of five people would like to see the Green Party leader Natalie Bennett take part in the 2015 General Election TV leadership debates.

In October the BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4 all announced joint plans to hold three debates in the six weeks before polling day. The first would be head-to-head between Conservative leader David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband, the second would include Nick Clegg and the third Nigel Farage.

Support for a Green member at the debates was highest among individuals aged 35-44 and among women, according to polling data.

Around 200,000 people signed an online petition calling for the party to receive equal coverage.