Media & PR

Are Conservative supporting newspapers going to switch to follow their readers?

A long-running debate in political science is the extent to which the political leanings, or cheerleading, of media outlets ends up influencing how people vote. One reason for this not being a simple question to answer is that people choose their media outlets, so if there is high level of support for the Roundabout Lovers Party among readers of the Thursday Chronicle, is that because of the Chronicle editor’s passionate promotion of the virtues of roundabouts as a greener, safer form of road interchange, or is it because those who already quite like roundabouts choose to read the Chronicle?

But one pattern that does come through is how media outlets can be followers rather than leaders. That is, when they see the political views of their readers change, they sometimes change their own political stance because keeping your readers happy matters more than which road transport design wins out.

This was one of the features of British politics in the 1990s, particularly with usually Conservative-supporting newspapers seeing their readers hit by recession and negative equity, and so warming up to Labour to follow the political switching their readers had already made.

Which is why the new polling from Survation/Best for Britain may indicate changes in editorial lines to come:

Labour now more popular among readers of Tory backing newspapers: Survation polling numbers

By lucky timing, this news of Conservative newspaper readers not being so keen on the Conservatives comes at the same time as further polling evidence that GB News‘s viewers are not that keen on its editorial preferences either. It’s a JL Partners poll for the Daily Telegraph:

Jl Partners poll of GB News viewers

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Polling UnPacked book cover and Sunday Times review quote

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