Did David Speers say "I hope we (the Liberals) can hang on" during the ABC's election coverage?
Updated: May 5
The claim has been circulating for over a year.
On July 4, 2020, the Eden-Monaro by-election was held in NSW after the resignation of Labor MP Mike Kelly, who cited ill health.
Labor's candidate Kristy McBain won, with the Liberals conceding on July 9 when there were around 1,000 and 2,000 votes left to count.
However, a claim surrounding a supposed quote from the ABC's Insiders host, David Speers, spread fairly soon after the by-election & has continued to spread today.
A post, with the name 'Leo' at the bottom - understood to be the creator's name - claims that Speers said the following during the national broadcaster's live coverage:
"I hope we can hang on in Queanbeyan."
Other tweets from July 2020 claimed he something slightly different, including "if we can hang on in Queanbeyan" or "I hope we hold Queenbeyan (sic)."
However, this quote is debunked in a Sydney Morning Herald column from July 12 of that year, written by Peter FitzSimons.
FitzSimons writes that "on Monday morning...Speers was trending on Twitter, for a quote he was purported to have said on the coverage of the Eden-Monaro by-election."
"The problem is, of course, he never said it."
He goes on to write that "the closest approximation of this classic example of fake news" was this quote from Speers:
"The government, even if they don’t get there tonight, will say Labor’s primary vote really fell off here, we held up though where it counts in the economic message in Queanbeyan and Yass and so on."
While many other people have claimed to have "seen" the supposed quote on the ABC's live coverage, no video of it has emerged - despite searches from 6 News.
Until we see any proof, we're rating this claim as FALSE.
Do you have any information on this story? Do you know who created the image or have a link to the ABC's Eden-Monaro by-election live coverage?