Brexit Party logo ‘subconsciously manipulates voters into backing Farage’
The Brexit Party logo is sending people ‘subliminal messages’ to sway their vote, remainers have claimed. Nigel Farage’s new party logo is a giant arrow pointing to the right, which when put on a ballot paper, points towards the box that voters have to mark. Change UK MP Anna Soubry reckons it symbolises a fallen over house, while some believe it’s a clever ploy to subconsciously dupe undecided voters into selecting the insurgent party. Remain activist Magdalena Williams is demanding the Electoral Commission puts the party logos on the right of the ballot paper so Farage’s arrow points away from the voting boxes. Failing that, large arrows could be put around all the political parties to even the playing field, she suggested in her online petition. She wrote: ‘This needs urgent attention. We know Vote Leave broke the law at the 2016 referendum. We will not put up with another attempt to hijack the votes.’
Professor of clinical psychology Richard Bentall wrote to the Electoral Commission last week to say the logo is an ‘unfair advantage’ towards Farage’s party. He wrote: ‘I have just read that the Brexit Party logo to be used on the ballot paper in the imminent elections to the European Parliament is an arrow pointing to the choice box for the party. ‘You should not require a psychologist with three decades of research experience to point out to you that this is an obvious cue to vote for the party. ‘In the case of many voters, the cue may well work subliminally (the voter will not be aware of it).’ He added: ‘In my professional opinion, the ballot paper confers an unfair advantage to the Brexit Party, and clearly violates democratic norms. ‘You might as well put a bright red ring around the party’s choice box.’
Despite these protests, the Electoral Commission confirmed Farage’s arrow went through a ‘robust and thorough assessment process’. A spokesperson said the logo ‘was not likely to mislead a voter’. They told metro.co.uk: ‘As part of an application to register a political party, we consider any emblems against the statutory tests set out in law. ‘One of the statutory tests requires the Commission to consider whether an emblem is likely to contradict or hinder a voter’s understanding of guidance for voting set out on the ballot paper or elsewhere. ‘After our robust and thorough assessment process, we came to the opinion that this emblem was not likely to mislead a voter.
‘This is consistent with other decisions we have made about party emblems. ‘Part of our consideration was that, if at all, the emblem directs voters to the correct place to cast their vote for the party and does not encourage or discourage voters from casting their vote for other parties, or in any other way not to cast their vote correctly.’ Well, if the current polls are to believed, the Brexit Party won’t have to rely on alleged underhand tactics, as they’re 18 points ahead of any party. YouGov’s latest poll puts the Conservatives in fifth place, 24 points behind Farage’s party. Despite only launching weeks ago, the Brexit Party is on 34 per cent ahead of the election on May 23.
Farage is clearly a genius. Nobody else ever thought of using an arrow that points to the voting box as part of the logo. So many election victories foregone.
Recent YouGov polling for EU elections:
Edit: Popularity of party leaders