Last night we brought eleven Full Fact staff to the ITV studios in London to factcheck the first national TV debate.
We worked with the ITV digital team to help them factcheck the debate via Twitter, where they have 1.6 million followers, and through their liveblog which gets millions of unique users every month.
We were factchecking claims from Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, UKIP's Paul Nuttall, the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon, Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood and Green party co-leader Caroline Lucas.
Covering five parties is a huge task, so this week we had a dedicated team preparing for what those parties might say.
The preparation paid off: within seconds and minutes of claims being made we were about to put out useful tweets, and good graphics – we tweeted about 40 factchecking tweets in total.
Across the board, we had the facts. Here's what happened:
Tim Farron gave a shoutout to Labour and Conservatives, we've covered them too!
Deficit - what the govt borrows - isn't the same as debt, which is what it owes (£1.7 trillion) https://t.co/Lcol4prL95— Full Fact (@FullFact) May 18, 2017
Zero Hours Contracts
NFER got involved!
And the research continues
With politics, there’s not always a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. As facts, figures and claims bounced between leaders, we were able to provide backed up information that can be interpreted and understood so that people across the country could make up their own minds.
When Caroline Lucas claimed that four million children in the UK are living in poverty, we explained what poverty actually means in this context and that it can be measured in different ways, creating different figures. Facts are not always about right and wrong, we’re just here to unravel and present them.
Factchecking the ITV leaders’ debate was a mammoth task and mighty feat, but it was worth it, even if just for the compliments:
Getting election kerfuffled? Follow @FullFact to see the wood for the trees— Angela Kinder 🐝 (@AngeKinder) May 18, 2017
Those of you who are watching the debate, and those who can’t bear to (🙋🏼) should follow @FullFact who are fact checking candidate claims.— loulou (@louloulou) May 18, 2017
As the election looms, follow us to keep up to date with what lies beneath the spin.
We’re impartial, independent, and we have the facts.