Thursday, 16 June 2011

Is 1% a majority?

Yesterday Birmingham city council released the results of their consultation on HS2.

On their website they proudly announced that the "Majority of residents on HS2 route back plan". To me that would mean more than half of the people living there have replied and are in favour, but in fact they say that of the respondents "53 per cent fully supported the proposals" and on checking how many respondents there were (600) that means about 300 people. When you consider that nearly 30 000 consultation documents went out and it was available to many more people on the internet, it turns out that this is actually 1% of the number of leaflets that went out and if a number of those responses were from people responding on the website, not from those who received the leaflets, the percentage could be even lower.

How can they justify a claim that the majority of residents on the route back it in this case?

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