Which political parties do the newspapers support?
What political slant do the national newspapers take and what are their circulation numbers?By Dave Lancaster |
11:43 01 October 2009
After 12 years of Labour reign, The Sun famously lost faith in the government's leadership and revoked its support in 2009.
The front-page headline on Wednesday September 30 2009 was "Labour's lost it", also stating "After 12 long years in power, this Government has lost its way. Now it's lost The Sun's support too."
The popular paper then started "feeling blue" and opted to support David Cameron's Conservative party, thus switching from centre-left to centre-right wing ideologies. Gordon Brown was unruffled, stated that "people win elections, not papers".
But that got us thinking... what political slant do the national newspapers take?
Estimated circulation: 3.1m
Political slant: During Thatcher's reign, the tabloid openly supported the Conservatives but when New Labour came around, they switched sides supporting them at the 1997, 2001 and 2005 elections. Now they're back to the Tories.
Known to be more open about their political influences, they often run front page stories bragging about their influence in the victories (stating for instance that they "won it" for John Major in 1992). The Sun, like The Times, is owned by Rupert Murdoch who is said to greatly influence the political outlook of his media publications.
The Daily Mail
Estimated circulation: 2.2m
Political slant: The Mail has remained a traditionally right-wing/Conservative paper, but they did rally for the New Labour project and the subsequent 2001 election for Tony Blair's Labour.
The paper often discusses "Brown's broken Britain" but has not been entirely critical of his policies, just the implementation of them. The Mail is expected to support David Cameron.
The Daily Mirror
Estimated circulation: 1.3m
Political slant: The Mirror is Labour, through and through. Despite Brown's recent unpopularity in recent years, the paper is still expected to support him.
Thursday October 1 2009 saw them pen an article stating what Britain would be like "after 5 years of Conservative rule", citing fewer police, hospital closures and so forth.
The Daily Star
Estimated circulation: 0.9m
Political slant: The Star isn't the most political of publications Â– it has once printed a window sticker stating "No poli-tits! This house is a candidate-free zone!". Other instances it has stated that it would be wise to cast a vote, regardless of which party the reader chooses.
The tabloid has reported about Brown's demise in recent times. Thursday October 1 2009 saw The Star ask "Is this strange, tetchy, shifty, gloomy, scheming oddball the man Britain really wants in No 10?". While it is expected that they support David Cameron, they seldom sing his praises either.
The Daily Telegraph
Estimated circulation: 0.8m
Political slant: Given that it has the nickname "The Torygraph", it's a safe bet to say that it tends to sway towards Conservative policies. Even when Labour was incredibly popular, the Telegraph remained loyal to Tories.
In its genesis, the Telegraph was overtly liberal. Recently it has been critical of Brown and Labour in general, but still hasn't been devoted to David Cameron's ideas either.
The Daily Express
Estimated circulation: 0.7m
Political slant: The Express' choices of political party have switched numerous times over the years as the newspaper's owners have been changed.
Since 2005 it has backed the Conservatives with gusto.
Estimated circulation: 0.6m
Political slant: Traditionally not a supporter of the Labour government, they shifted to support them in 2001 for the first time in its history. While they backed them again in 2005, it is thought that the broadsheet has switched over to the Tories.
They championed them at the European elections and rallied Boris Johnson's candidacy for London mayor. Like The Sun, they are linked to Rupert Murdoch's influence.
The Financial Times
Estimated circulation: 0.4m
Political slant: The FT was one of the first papers to jump onto Labour support, as early as 1992, keeping loyal throughout Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's residency.
Support may be flagging, but they told The Guardian that "there is life yet in Gordon Brown", optimistically believing that Labour still have some fight left in them.
Estimated circulation: 0.3m
Political slant: Their readership tends to be split between the Liberal Democrats and Labour. Interestingly, columnist Jackie Ashley had stated that the support for the 2010 election wouldn't be based on the editor's terms, but instead from "the result of vigorous debate within the paper".
While this suggests a fractured, yet balanced outlook on politics, The Guardian has usually opted for Labour, even if it has suggested that Gordon Brown should be discharged as the party's figurehead.
Estimated circulation: 0.2m
Political slant: The Independent does not tend to sway to any one party, hence its name. They tend to openly debate, instead of support, political initiatives, but they operate more in centre-left than they do right - more Liberal than either Labour or Tory. The Independent was openly critical of the Iraq war.
In a speech on June 12 2007 Tony Blair called The Independent a "viewspaper", saying it "was started as an antidote to the idea of journalism as views not news. That was why it was called The Independent. Today it is avowedly a viewspaper not merely a newspaper".