Support by numbers – getting the message across

28 Apr

I looked up the circulation figures for the daily newspapers in the UK and then added up the numbers according to party affiliation. I know there is an assumption here that newspapers are not free from the taint of political bias, but recent and well attested stories about instructions from Rupert Murdoch and the Barclay Brothers about direction of support in the titles they control make their bias very obvious.

Firstly, here are the figures, derived from Wikipedia:

Title 2015[7] 2014[8] 2013[9] 2012[10] 2011[11] 2010[12][13]
The Sun 1,978,702 2,213,659 2,409,811 2,582,301 3,001,822 3,006,565
Daily Mail 1,688,727 1,780,565 1,863,151 1,945,496 2,136,568 2,120,347
Daily Mirror 992,235 992,256 1,058,488 1,102,810 1,194,097 1,218,425
Evening Standard TBA 805,309[14] 695,645[15] 699,368[16] 704,008[17] 601,960[18]
Daily Telegraph 494,675 544,546 555,817 578,774 651,184 691,128
Daily Express 457,914 500,473 529,648 577,543 639,875 674,640
Daily Star 425,246 489,067 535,957 617,082 734,311 779,376
The Times 396,621 384,304 399,339 397,549 457,250 508,250
i 280,351 298,266 293,946 264,432 133,472 N/A
Financial Times 219,444 234,193 275,375 316,493 383,067 390,315
Daily Record 203,725 227,639 251,535 291,825 306,872 323,831
The Guardian 185,429 207,958 204,440 215,988 279,308 302,285
The Independent 61,338 66,576 76,802 105,160 185,035 185,815

In total, that makes the numbers as follows:

Conservative supporting publications are: The Sun, The Times, The Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Evening Standard.

The Daily Mirror is the only newspaper which openly supports Labour.

Richard Desmond set his titles, The Daily Express and The Star to support UKIP.

The Guardian was traditionally a Liberal newspaper, but takes an independent line, as do The Independent the i, and the Financial Times.

Conservative 5,358,725
Labour 992,235
UKIP 883,160
Non-aligned 746,562

In comparison, for every Mirror (Labour) reader there are 5.4 readers possibly being influenced by the Conservative press.

UKIP are only marginally behind Labour and all are ahead of the non-aligned newspapers.

The only daily newspaper that might be considered to be left of centre, The Guardian, has a circulation of just 185,429.

So, in context of left / centre / right wing:

Right 6,241,885
Centre 1,553,368
Left 185,429

There are 33.66 copies of right wing newspapers for every sale of a left-wing one. What is more the Mail, Express and Star are far more right wing than the Guardian is left wing.

If you have a problem with me including the Mirror in the centre section, go and read it, it is decidedly undecided with a very old demographic (you can tell by the small ads for climb-in baths and slippers).

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