Early on in the debate, the subject of housing came up, and I seized the opportunity to challenge the other panel members. Would any of them take up, as even my nine-year-old daughter can, the challenge to admit that mass migration into the UK has worsened the housing crisis? Would any of them say, ‘Yes, Nigel, five million immigrants to Britain since 1998 probably has increased the demand for housing’?
Of course they wouldn’t. And the audience clearly agreed with them – that this was nothing to do with immigration, and it’s just coincidental that a massive population boom in this country has coincided with a housing shortage.
I knew the audience was far from the ‘balanced’ and ‘representative’ sample of people that we had been promised by the event organisers, the BBC.
I was firm, but polite. I said: ‘There seems to be a total lack of comprehension on this panel, and indeed among this audience, which is a remarkable audience even by the Left-wing standard of the BBC. This lot’s pretty Left-wing, believe me.’
The BBC of course denied Farage’s claims and the presenter stated the audience had been selected by a reputable polling company with the objective of keeping it as impartial as possible.
After some investigation, journalists managed to convince the BBC to reveal the details of how they formed the audience.
The ratio was 5:5:4:3:2:2:1, with the Conservatives and Labour getting the 5s, the Lib Dems on 4, Ukip on 3, the SNP and Greens on 2, and Plaid Cymru on 1. This meant that roughly, in an audience of 200, only about 50 people were not of a Left-wing persuasion.
Later, the UKIP established that the polling company in question was the same company that has consistently underestimated its positions in national polls, and had even put them in third place just days ahead of the 2014 European elections which UKIP won with 27 per cent of the national vote share.
Farage says the BBC needs root and branch reform, and if he gets enough MPs, he will fight tooth and nail for such reform. Yet another reason to vote for UKIP over the corrupt cronyist decrepit political establishment.