Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Daily Record's dilemma in numbers

YouGov have released an enormous poll of 100,000 respondents, which attempts to identify how different segments of the electorate voted on May 7th. From an SNP point of view, I think the most interesting finding relates to newspaper readership...

Percentage of each newspaper's Britain-wide readership that voted SNP :

Record/Mirror : 6%
Sun : 4%
Guardian : 3%
Independent : 3%
Star : 3%
Express : 2%
Mail : 1%
Times : 1%
Telegraph : 0%

It's quite difficult to interpret these numbers, because we'd need to know what percentage of each newspaper's readers are to be found among the Scottish subsample - for example, we know that the Independent has a disproportionately small readership north of the border, so it's hardly surprising that only 3% of its readers voted SNP (if anything, I'd have expected the figure to be lower still). But even allowing for the likelihood that a particularly high percentage of the Mirror/Record's readers in the sample are Scottish, it's quite striking that more Record than Sun readers seem to have plumped for the SNP, even though it was the Sun that endorsed Nicola Sturgeon.

There are two ways of looking at this - a) now we know why the Record had to hedge its bets, and ended up hilariously advising only English people on how to vote, and b) the paper's more subtle attempts at propaganda and smearing were an utter failure. It's hard to see how they can ever go back to being an out-and-out Labour publication after this - their readers would simply desert them.

It's also fascinating to see how impotent the Telegraph in particular were in their endless Nat-bashing - they successfully "persuaded" virtually all of their readers to reject the SNP, and yet the SNP still got 50% of the vote. Says it all, really. The Mail's editorial stance appears to have been almost as great an irrelevance. They were preaching to the converted, while the Record were haplessly attempting Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques on the unconvertible.


  1. I take it that the 1% of Mail Readers and 2% of Express that voted SNP are Sado Masochists?

    1. Probably women Mail readers since they (like my wife who is a strong SNP supporter) buy the Mail for its girlie stuff and don't read its political chaff. Know nothing about Express since never read it.

  2. Is there anyone in Scotland who actually reads the Telegraph (except possibly for an occasional online article in order to disagree with it).

    1. I have wondered if the only people in Scotland who read the Telegraph are retired Major Bufton-Tuftons who have moved north of the border for the peace and quiet and lack of crime. However, although the circulation in Scotland is not much, only 16,000, I think that might still be proportionally higher than the demographic I've just described. So *some* Scots must be buying it...

    2. Don't forget there are nigh on 500,000 English living in Scotland many of whom are transients passing through in a job or at Uni and who are aspiring to "senior management". In England (and Scotland?) it is de rigueur for such people to 'take' the Telegraph to impress their bosses.

  3. Eleven years ago, the Broken Record had a recorded 61% of it's readership identified as Labour supporting, according to the 2004 Ipsos Mori poll of readers voting intentions in Westminster elections.

    Rather ironically, 22% of readers were recorded as being inclined to vote SNP.

    In 2010, Ipsos Mori carried out the same survey but altered the SNP to the obfuscatory 'others'. It showed that SNP/Other voter intentions in the run up to the General Election dropped from 22% to 17%, chiming with the unprecedented level of anti SNP stories between 2007 and 2010, when the SNP formed their first minority government.

    Ipsos Mori do these polls on a five year turnaround, I suspect that after the near wipe out of Labour last month in Scotland, support among those readers who remain loyal to the Record, will have risen considerably in their support for the SNP. The 2011 Holyrood election being the turning point.