Some 0.5m Lib Dems read the now-Tory-again Sun

Apologies, readers, I appear to be on a bit of poll roll over the last 24 hours, what with this, this and now this … Yesterday’s ‘big news’ – or, more accurately, the story which garnered most column inches – was the announcement that The Sun has jilted Labour, and is shacking up once again with the Tory party.

There was no real surprise there: The Sun backs winners, and follows (and doubtless re-inforces) its readers’ opinions. Ipsos-Mori was quick off-the-mark to press release its figures showing the voting intentions of Sun readers in 2009 compared with 2005, general election year. These show a collapse in Labour support with hefty swings towards both the Tories and Others:

2005 – Tory 33%, Labour 45%, Lib Dem 12%, Others 10%
2009 – Tory 42%, Labour 29%, Lib Dem 12%, Others 17%

Interestingly the Lib Dem figure is unchanged between 2005 and 2009, at 12%. Now the latest readership figures I can find for The Sun are for 2008, when it was estimated that the average daily readership of the paper from Monday-Friday is 7.87 million. And 12% of that number is 944,000 people.

Of course this figure is artificially high – Ipsos-Mori’s figures exclude don’t knows, undecideds and those refusing to name a party. So if we guesstimated that around half The Sun’s readership will vote at the next general election pretty much along the lines indicated by Ipsos-Mori, then that still indicates that some 472,200 Sun readers will vote Lib Dem. That’s the equivalent of two-thirds of the Independent’s entire readership voting Lib Dem.

Are these half-a-million Sun-reading Lib Dem voters actually buying the paper for its political coverage? I doubt it. But it would be a rash political party that ignored a newspaper with such a reach – that’s a lot of Focus leaflet delivery!

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  • Terry Gilbert 1st Oct '09 - 3:18pm

    Sadly we only got 9% in their online poll yesterday. That’s 2% less than ‘others’.
    I guess that’s more than 100,000 votes down the swany, then?

  • Phew. At least they’re not down the Swannee!

  • The point about the Sun is that Cameron has obviously promised Murdoch he will give the BBC a kicking, in order to further his family’s commercial interests.

    It is all so painfully transparent that this is what this is about.

  • The Murdoch family’s that is.

    Samantha Cameron’s family is so posh that she would never dream of doing anything so vulgar.

  • In the Independent today there is a story that 1. Ofcom has ordered Sky to allow some of its competitors access to Premier League football 2. Cameron has pledged to abolish Ofcom 3. Murdoch is backing Cameron.

    More important for the LibDems, this clearly demonstrates that if the Tories win the next election, Murdoch will be running the Country as he has done since Thatcher. In that case we will have 35 years of Thatcherite Social and Economic policies. As Vince Cable says, “The Liberal Democrats are a perfectly adequete alternative”. So its the LibDems v the Murdoch parties. Bring it on.

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