For many of the BBC viewers & licence fee payers watching and funding BBC Question Time : the perplexing issue of Political Bias on the Question Time Panel is becoming acute. While the Conservative Party & Labour each have a panelist each week, other political parties with millions of votes have to wait up to 8 weeks to hear their representatives, while private media commentators appear in pairs each week. The net effect is often a right wing panel. The SNP is often on panels in England where they do not contest elections while Liberal Democrats are not represented. UKIP with only 1 MP in the Commons gets twice the representation of the Liberal Democrats which are the fourth largest party in votes and seats in parliament. It is long overdue that the panel is made up of proportional basis to the 2015 General Election vote, which would mean half the number of SNP & UKIP panelists and twice the number of Lib Dem & Green representatives. A sensible suggestion would be to reduce the media panelists by half to ensure a fairer hearing for the Major Political parties. When will David Dimbleby act to ensure an end to political bias?

For some time, many Liberal Democrats have been appalled by the backhanded coverage of Liberal Democrats by the BBC, a broadcaster tasked to be politically neutral and unbiased. Since the election with our representation in the commons & a lesser share of the vote we have accepted that diminished coverage would be necessary to reflect parliament & opinion polls but the almost blanket media ban on Liberal Democrats and Tim Farron has been perplexing and worrying. Equally unhelpful has been the backhanded reportage given by BBC journalists.

BBC Question Time




Great care and expense is taken by the BBC to ensure a politically balanced audience for the weekly flagship BBC Question Time. A clear failure in duty to represent political views, especially moderate views is taking place which is feeding an extremist dialogue on key issues such as immigration and continued membership of the EU.

Data

BBC Question Time 2015 - January to May  (Before General Election)  16 broadcasts

Panelists by Party
                                                                   
Conservative       16   (20% of panelists)
Labour                      16   (20% of panelists)
Liberal Democrat 11   (14% of panelists)
UKIP                          6    (7% of panelists)
SNP                           4    (5% of panelists)
Green                         3    (4% of panelists)
Plaid Cymru                2    (3% of panelists)
Other (Media etc)      20    (26% of panelists)
                      

BBC Question Time 2015 -  May to November 5  (after General Election)  18 broadcasts

Panelists by Party
                                                                       
Conservative       18   (20% of panelists)      
Labour                    18   (20% of panelists)     
Liberal Democrat   4   (4% of panelists)        
UKIP                          7    (8% of panelists)        
SNP                           8    (9% of panelists)
Green                         1    (1% of panelists)
Plaid Cymru                1    (1% of panelists)
Other (Media etc)      33    (37% of panelists)

Astounding Fact 

Between June -October 2015 over 8 BBC Question Time Broadcasts not one single Liberal Democrat was invited to participate. In the same time, 4 UKIP, 4 SNP & 1 Plaid Cymru representatives along with 15 Journalists from Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and other various celebrity, writers & commentariat - elected by nobody were invited.

Indeed it is noticeable that legitimate political parties like Liberal Democrats who represent millions of voters have been replaced by employed Newspaper columnists representing media owners who now make up 37% of the panelists.

Many of these invited, unelected panelists like historians , Daily Mail journalists & LBC presenters have an extreme often right wing or alternatively left wing opinion which polarizes debate. 

What is clear is that the share of panel given to Liberal Democrats has been reduced too drastically, too many unelected panelists have been added and that the Greens too are under represented. UKIP representation has increased despite having low poll ratings & only 1 MP and the SNP is dramatically overepresented either by way of share of commons seats or poll rating.