Andrew Neil is MPs' favourite political journalist as Guido Fawkes, Evening Standard and Times among most read by those in power, poll finds - Press Gazette

Andrew Neil is MPs' favourite political journalist as Guido Fawkes, Evening Standard and Times among most read by those in power, poll finds

Guido Fawkes is the most popular political blog among UK MPs, while the Evening Standard and the Times are the most read newspaper brands by those in power, according to a new Comres poll.

The survey also found that BBC Daily Politics presenter Andrew Neil (pictured) was MPs’ favourite political broadcast journalist. The most popular print journalist was Daily Mail columnist Quentin Letts.

Comres surveyed 151 MPs in April and May this year to find out where they get their news. The data was weighted by party and region to be representative of the House of Commons.

Half of the Conservative MPs surveyed named Guido Fawkes as their favourite blog covering UK politics – compared with 5 per cent of Labour MPs. It was the most popular choice for 28 per cent of all MPs combined.

Next was Huffpost UK on 7 per cent (favoured by 11 per cent of Labour MPs), then Conservative Home on 6 per cent (named by 12 per cent of Tories), and Politics Home on 3 per cent (named by 6 per cent of Labour).

Asked which daily newspapers they read at least twice a week, almost half (45 per cent) of the MPs surveyed said the Evening Standard, up from a quarter in 2016, meaning it has seen the biggest growth in popularity among politicians.

The Evening Standard has been edited by former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne since May last year.

Online, the Times is the most regularly read newspaper by MPs (46 per cent, up from 31 per cent in 2016). It is also the second most popular in print, where its popularity has remained steady from 35 per cent in 2016 to 36 per cent in 2018.

A 2018 Comres poll asked 151 MPs which, if any, of these daily newspapers they read at least twice a week.

Two in five (42 per cent) of Conservative MPs read the Sunday Times at least twice a month, with 35 per cent of all MPs surveyed reading it in print and 33 per cent reading it online.

The next most popular Sunday papers among MPs were the Mail on Sunday, the Observer, and the Sunday Telegraph – although the Mail saw the biggest drop in popularity, from 23 per cent to 16 per cent.

Asked how frequently they watch or listen to a number of broadcast news programmes, more than two-thirds (71 per cent) said they watch the BBC News Channel at least twice a week.

BBC Radio 4 was the most popular regular listen, with almost half (47 per cent) listening to its news programming every day.

Outside the BBC, 58 per cent of MPs said they watch Sky News at least twice a week, while 48 per cent said the same about ITV News, and 41 per cent about Channel 4 News.

MPs were asked to write the name of their favourite broadcast journalist covering UK politics, with 17 per cent choosing BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, ahead of ITV political editor Robert Peston, BBC Radio 4 Today presenter Nick Robinson and Sky News’s Adam Boulton on 3 per cent each.

Neil, who also presents This Week on BBC One, was the favourite of 36 per cent of Conservative MPs and just 5 per cent of Labour MPs, creating an average of 21 per cent of members from all parties.

No print journalist was named by more than 5 per cent of the MPs surveyed when they were asked who was their favourite print journalist.

Letts was chosen by 5 per cent of MPs, followed most closely by Times columnists Matthew Parris and Daniel Finklestein, and Spectator editor Fraser Nelson, all on 4 per cent.

Times deputy political editor Sam Coates was the only print political journalist named in the report who is currently a reporter, rather than a columnist. He was the favourite of 2 per cent of MPs.

The survey included a weighted sample of 74 Conservative MPs and 61 Labour.

See the full survey results here.

Picture: BBC



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2 thoughts on “Andrew Neil is MPs' favourite political journalist as Guido Fawkes, Evening Standard and Times among most read by those in power, poll finds”

  1. Is this article meant to be serious? Of the 650 MPs only 151 were surveyed? In todays’ modern tech world cannot Comres run up to 650 ‘questionnaires’ and distribute them to all MPs? Or is the number of 151 be the only ones to respond to such vital ‘research’? Moreover keeping the answers to percentages of those who are polled give a really false impression of those who did or did not state preferences. For instance to acheive 5% in a total of 151 there only has to be 3 to 4 people to indicate the answer. For example: Huffpost to achieve 7% there needed only 5 people to vote for it! Why this grossly stupid ‘survey’ received this much room and headline God only Knows!

  2. It is rather disturbing to see the Standard rated so highly. It does though say a great deal about the metropolitan focus of our political class.

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