Politics Home comes out on top in Press Gazette’s new ranking of the most popular politics news websites in the UK.
Based on data provided by Ipsos iris, the brand attracted 1.6m unique visitors in July (3% of internet users aged over 15 in the UK).
Politics Home editor Alan White, who took over the job in 2020, recently told Press Gazette that the brand aims to cover stories no one else can and break exclusives. White is also editor of sister title, The House, parliament’s official magazine.
Free-to-read Politics Home counted more than twice the number of visitors than second-best ranked Politico which has a paywall (679,822 visitors, 1% reach). The brand, which was acquired by German publishing house Axel Springer last year, is known for its trademark daily Playbook newsletters such as its London Playbook, that gives a run-down of the day in Westminster.
Politico was followed by left-wing news site The Canary (653,693 people, 1% reach) and The London Economic (473,848). Both sites are often considered to be alternative media, due to the claim they make of presenting a viewpoint different from mainstream media.
Most popular politics news websites in the UK (monthly UK audience):
1. Politics Home (1.6 million)
2. Politico (679,822)
3. The Canary (653,693)
4. The London Economic (473,848)
5. Guido Fawkes (Order-Order) (287,396)
6. Conservative Home (240,021)
7. The New European (197,104)
8. Politics.co.uk (170,120)
9. Byline Times (110,372)
10. Novara Media (104,761)
11. Skwawkbox (80,790)
12. Labourlist (76,341)
While many general newsbrands cover politics extensively, Press Gazette’s ranking only includes brands exclusively or almost exclusively focused on politics. We have excluded newsbrands such as The New Statesman, The Spectator, The Economist, Prospect, The Week which, while sometimes considered politics specialists, also dedicate large amounts of coverage to other beats such as culture, climate and business. We have also excluded overseas politics news sites such as those focused on the US in our ranking of the most popular politics news website in the UK.
Among the leading sites were two brands that, while independent of the political parties they are aligned with, are dedicated exclusively to news about them. Popular Conservative blog Conservative Home, founded by Tim Montgomerie who later went on to found Unherd, came in sixth place with 240,021 visitors, while Labourlist ranked eleventh (76,341).
Donor-supported non-profit Novara Media, which has continued to grow since coming to prominence during Jeremy Corbyn’s tenure as Labour leader, was ranked ninth (104,761 victors).
While left-wing sites make up a large portion of the ranking, topping the table for engagement was right-wing news site and blog Guido Fawkes. Some 287,000 visitors spent a total of 4.5 million minutes with the brand in July - an average of 16 minutes per person.
Left-wing alternative media site Skwawkbox came second for average minutes of engagement per user (10 minutes).
Guido Fawkes also topped the list when it came to page views, with 3.3 million page views, ahead of Politico (2.5 million) and The Canary (2.3 million).
Ipsos iris data is partly derived from a panel of 10,000 people aged 15 and over that is designed to be nationally representative. The participants have meters installed across 25,000 personal devices to passively measure website and app usage.
The data is combined with data from participating websites that are tagged so all devices visiting the site can be identified and logged.
Some of the data for the sites on this politics list is, however, derived from a small sample size due to the specialist nature of the content.
Guido Fawkes owner Paul Staines said that because Ipsos Iris is designed to be nationally representative "it will by design fail to measure industry-specific media correctly because they have concentrated audiences".
He said: "Our readership works in politics which means we have a concentrated audience where politics happens - in Westminster. A nationally representative panel makes no sense when half (46%) of our readership is in London. The advertising industry uses services like Quantcast or Similarweb for audience data. Not surveys, actual measured traffic."
Byline Times said that in its view, the "Ipsos panel estimates profoundly underestimate the actual Jetpack and WordPress statistics for the Byline Times website, which record an average of 400,000 unique UK visitors per month." Byline Times internal analytics show 247,600 visitors in July, the majority of which came from the UK, as well as 301,700 UK views.
Update: this article was updated on 1 September to include a comment from Guido Fawkes and on 7 September to include a comment from Byline Times.
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