Why is it being unfriendly to the Chancellor?
One of the problems of reading the newspapers online is that although the words might be the same the overall impact can be very different in the print edition. Yesterday’s reporting of the Guardian ICM poll was a classic example.
Taking up almost the entire front page running across five columns the headline ran “Brown feels the Cameron effect”. The main numbers were featured nearly half an inch big and were overlaid on a huge picture of a grim looking Gordon.
In yesterday’s discussion several people wondered why the poll had appeared to ask “Gordon unfriendly” questions which led me to inquire of the paper who had been responsible for the question setting. This is the response I got from the journalist who does polls, Julian Glover. “There’s no secret, the themes and questions are agreed between us, I don’t think either of us would want to ask anything the other party was unhappy about. & the questions this month are pretty straightforward”.
- So the poll was carried out in the form it was because the Guardian wanted it that way.
Today’s big pre-Labour conference story in the paper is headed “Brown prepares for ‘speech of his life’. Chancellor has worked for months on party conference address which could make or break his leadership hopes”. It goes onto to describe the nightmare that he could do a David Davis – last year’s Tory leadership front-runner who bombed in his conference speech.
- You get the feeling that the Guardian is about as enthusiastic about Brown as the Telegraph is of Cameron – and that is saying something!
Of all parts of the media the Guardian has the most influence within the Labour movement and its coverage could have a very major impact. If the paper goes enthusiastically for Gordon then there can be no doubt about the outcome. If it doesn’t we have a contest on our hands.
Latest betting odds are here.