Was it The Sun wot won it?

Does The Sun really win or lose elections?

Does The Sun really win or lose elections?

Much discussion and more than a few media ripples caused the defection of The Sun back to the Conservatives. It is hardly surprising though; the Murdoch press has been rapidly falling out of love with Labour for some time, expect it’s other staple, The Times to follow suit and frankly I would expect all Murdoch papers to now fall in line behind Cameron’s Conservatives.

Most of the debate has been around how much all this actually matters given that the Sun’s role in determining election results has been ascribed almost mythic proportions. All of this stems from the 1992 election which The Sun rather grandly claims it won for John Major against Neil Kinnock’s Labour Party. I don’t think media endorsements move mountains partially because to sell newspapers they actually have to reflect their readers views to a certain degree (as opposed to shaping them) and this is something the doubtless will enter into editorial considerations.

In that sense I think they reflect a prevailing mood rather than create one; of course, there is an interrelationship of cause-effect and process but it is certainly a gross oversimplification to say papers win or lose elections. In 1992 people were still sufficently weary of Labour not to endorse Kinnock enough and so he lost the election; The Sun merely reflected and adeptly amplified that sentiment. What will be interesting will be to see if The Sun will be able to reassure the lower social brackets that Cameron’s Conservatives are for them; as I blogged earlier these social brackets are thus far unconvinced when it comes to Cameron.

Perhaps not surpirsing then that The Sun reflects this;

“Between now and the election Cameron’s Conservatives must earn voters’ trust by setting out their promising policies in detail.”

If Cameron wins at the next election then no doubt The Sun will again claim it ‘won it’ but the truth is certainly alot more complex than that….

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About darrellgoodliffe

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