Alex Massie

Do Newspapers Influence Elections?

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Alex Barker notes that despite the Guardian's endorsement of the Liberal Democrats this year (still richly amusing!), the Lib Dems actually won a smaller share of the Guardian-reader vote in 2010 than they had in 2005:

Chart from Kavanagh & Crowley's The British General Election of 2010.

Some other things to note: Daily Mirror readers were much more motivated to vote than Sun readers. The SNP can have won the support of just 15% of Daily Record readers. Nothing happened between 2005 and 2010 to make Independent readers change their minds about anything. Times readers, by contrast, are the well-read swing-vote. Meanwhile, the Tory share of the Daily Mail vote only increased by 2% - a reflection, perhaps, of Paul Dacre's lack of enthusiasm for David Cameron?

Observe too, the collapse in Labour support amongst Sun and Daily Star readers: losing the middle-classes hurts Labour but - and here Ed Miliband's campaign was perhaps more astute than his brother's - needs to "reconnect" with the aspirational working-class. In that sense, it was Currant Bun Man Wot Lost It for Labour.  

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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