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Daily Mail is now the only newspaper with a Tory readership

October 7, 2023 - 8:00am

The Daily Mail is the only national newspaper whose readership is more likely to vote Conservative than Labour in the next election. According to new polling, 40% of Mail readers intend to vote Tory, compared to 38% who plan to vote Labour.

Meanwhile, traditionally Right-of-centre publications such as the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Express now have more readers who intend to vote for Labour than the Tories. While according to one 2017  YouGov survey 79% of readers of the former paper and 77% of the latter said they would vote Conservative in that year’s election, the figures in this most recent poll are 32% and 31% respectively. Strikingly, 41% of Telegraph readers now say they plan to vote Labour.

Polling conducted by Survation surveyed 20,205 people across the country. It asked newspaper readers who they intended to vote for in the next election, and found a near-sweep for Labour across all national publications, marking a significant change even since polls carried out during Tony Blair’s premiership.

In most national polls, Labour holds a lead of 15-20 percentage points over the Tory Party, which is reflected in the new survey. For example, a substantial Labour lead has opened up among the readers of newspapers which have historically occupied the centre ground and switched support between the two main parties, such as the Times and the Financial Times (which both leant Tory in the 2017 YouGov poll). Among Left-leaning publications such as the Guardian and the Daily Mirror, the party has a 42-point and 38-point lead respectively. 

The Daily Mail remains the most-read paid-for-print newspaper in the UK, with a circulation of 777,586, though it has declined year-on-year by 11% since 2000. While the Mail has consistently aligned itself with the Conservative Party, the Sun — which boasts the next highest readership among non-free papers — has gained a reputation for swinging elections by way of its support, especially under the stewardship of Rupert Murdoch. “It’s The Sun Wot Won It” was used as a headline when the Conservatives won the 1992 general election under John Major, and then again when Tony Blair’s Labour swept to victory in 1997 (after the traditionally Tory Sun had switched sides). 

This year, the poll shows a 12-point lead for Labour among Sun readers. If an upcoming general election were limited only to those who primarily get their news from the paper, Starmer would win with a majority of 96 seats. Were it limited to those who mainly read the Mail, the Conservatives would receive the most votes, but still fall 25 seats short of a majority, with a lead of just 2% over Labour.


is UnHerd’s Deputy Editor, Newsroom.

RobLownie

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Paul T
Paul T
9 months ago

That may just show how easily self-selecting respondents to online polls can manipulate results.

Lord Plasma
Lord Plasma
9 months ago

Hang on
 almost 20% of Guardian readers are planning to vote Tory????

j watson
j watson
9 months ago
Reply to  Lord Plasma

It may be strange to yourself LP but a proportion of the population does in fact take in and actively seek out more than ‘confirmatory bias’ media welcoming reading round different views. Guardian has columns from likes of Katy Balls and Simon Jenkins etc too.
Now whilst more often alot of Unherd comments are a buffet of idiocy laid out before one there are some proper gems worth reading too.

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
9 months ago

The real winner of the next GE is likely to be “None of the Above”. But there’s this stupid idea in media that a conservative who doesn’t intend to vote Tory must be voting for Labour.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
9 months ago

Survation? Uh oh.
Look, it might be true and I don’t personally care one way or another, everyone knows support for the Tories has collapsed amongst its core base. But Survation should have been added to every respectable media outlet’s blacklist of polls after the recent “Marianna in Conspiracyland” disaster, where they reported a long series of impossible results. Kings College London were forced into an embarrassing walkback, but Survation themselves seemed oblivious and did nothing.
Amongst other things, Survation claimed that a quarter of Brits thought COVID was a hoax, that 3.7 million have already attended a protest against 15 minute cities and CDBCs, that a full 14% of the population read The Light (an obscure newspaper about conspiracy theories), and that huge numbers of people had been using Trump’s Truth Social network years before it had even launched.
In other words Survation reported garbage numbers that not only couldn’t be true, but they didn’t notice couldn’t be true, and didn’t seem to notice anyone criticizing this either. They certainly didn’t explain what went wrong or how they’d fix it. Probably they cannot because these are panel polling firms who ask the same people huge numbers of questions, so if one poll is full of troll answers then they all are, making the company’s core asset worthless.
Again, it’s possible that the poll isn’t as corrupted as their prior polls have been, and maybe YouGov or some other firm will yield similar numbers. But anything from Survation should be binned as a matter of principle.

Last edited 9 months ago by Norman Powers
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
9 months ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Garbage in garbage out. Good analysis of the value of Survation.

Robbie K
Robbie K
9 months ago

I’m uncertain why anyone would vote Tory right now other than a gritty sense of devotion and a rejection of the jellyfish Starmer. If the Tory manifesto is anything like the conference then they can forget any kind of recovery.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
9 months ago

The Telegraph result is astounding and the equally patriotic Sun scarcely believable either.
Why? Because the primary reason for voting Labour is to rejoin the European Union, even if progressively via a succession of renegotiated trade treaties.
My only other conclusion is that the polls are representative of these newspapers’ tiny readership, probably reflecting people who have multiple subscriptions and no particular loyalty to any one.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
9 months ago

If you believe this, then you will believe absolutely anything.

Peter Spurrier
Peter Spurrier
9 months ago

Sorry, I find this poll very hard to believe. I don’t understand why anyone outside the ‘progressive’ new establishment and various minorities would want to vote Labour. Let alone Telegraph readers. Mind you, to judge from the comments on the Telegraph site ( not reliably representative, of course ) Reform is more popular there than the Conservatives.

Emre S
Emre S
9 months ago

I’m surprised so many Tories read the FT. It reads like a university newspaper – at least used to be before I stopped reading it.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
9 months ago

Newspapers have been very effectively driving conservatives away for decades. This is the result.

Mark Kerridge
Mark Kerridge
9 months ago

Whether or not this poll is accurate it is safe to say that the Tories are finished (probably for 10 years at least).

Citizen Diversity
Citizen Diversity
9 months ago

Voting? Does the finding mean that this constitutional necessity every four years can change the ruling party but not the ruling power? That the major political parties no longer represent their traditional constituencies?
Should anyone wish to change the ruling power, or course. Do these findings indicate they don’t? Mr Punch or Ms Judy. It’s all the same show. Zebedee or Florence or Dougal. It’s all the same roundabout. After the audience departs, the captains and the kings carry on as before.
The day before the 2016 referendum the The Guardian ran a front page headline declaring that a vote to leave was a vote for hate. How many people who were undecided saw that headline and voted to leave?

Last edited 9 months ago by Citizen Diversity
Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
9 months ago

Inquiring minds want to know… what are the percentages for UnHerd readers?

Last edited 9 months ago by Kirk Susong
Dumetrius
Dumetrius
9 months ago

I suppose wandering back to the pre-2016 zone of small offerings, from the fantasy zone of Brexit, is a task suited to Starmer.

Politics can’t fix the world’s current malaise.

Seems reasonable to keep it in a state of suspended animation tho, until such time as it can be of use again.

Starmer sounds ideal for that.

Waffles
Waffles
9 months ago

Wokeness is coming.

j watson
j watson
9 months ago

The Daily Mail got a lot to answer for. Instrumental in the proper mess and muddle we have created in the UK right now. Been frightening and misinforming folks for years to protect a rich elite.

Last edited 9 months ago by j watson
John Galt Was Correct
John Galt Was Correct
9 months ago

Daily Mail readers supported Adolf Hitler and the forced covid jabbing of babies and children. It is like a comic for immature and under-developed bigots. The comments section is quite funny though, but unintentionally.

Gorka Sillero
Gorka Sillero
9 months ago

Guardian readers also support covid jabbing of babies though. Not sure of what that means

D Walsh
D Walsh
9 months ago

How old must they be if they supported AH

Its time to move on John