Did Murdoch help lose election for a Tory only government?

Well, maybe not. But Mike Smithson puts together some external reasons that the Murdoch endorsement may have brought more trouble than luck to Cameron’s door:

By September/October 2009, the time of the Sun’s endorsement, the blues were in the 40s with a solid 17% lead and looked all set to be returned with a comfortable majority.

On election day the Tories secured 37% of the GB vote with Labour 7.3% behind, and crucially 19 seats short of an overall majority. So in the eight months that followed the Sun move the Tory lead dropped ten points.

That had been the summer the House of Commons had taken their first pass over #hackgate… Already the brand was losing a lot if its gloss… And some sections of the press were losing some of their inhibitions over investigating each other…

  • Labour suits should take satisfaction out of the 12 point lead and imagine the lead they could have by sending Ed Milliband back to the benches. At the minute it ‘s due to no apprecvciation on the public’s part for the current leadership but down to cameron being finally found out. Even Duncan Smith is protesting about the welfare cuts and he’s obviously seen the books..

  • Comrade Stalin

    If they sent Ed to the backbenches who would they put in his place ? None of the current Labour front bench particularly inspire.

  • CS Possibly his brother David could be persuaded to rethink his retirement from the race to the top job. I don’t expect this to happen though. Ed Balls seems the more likely successor in the event of Ed being jettisoned or removing himself.

  • Mick Fealty

    Labour don’t do overnight coups. Ed would need to step down to get around the amount of cavassing that would need for an internal assault.

    Ironically, it was its own elaborate internal democracy that foisted a man who appears not to be up to the job on the party.

    But to return to the question raised by Mike, could it be that Murdoch had become toxic enough (this hackgate stuff began in June/July 2009), that The Sun’s endorsement of Cameron was more of a drag than a boost for his party for once…

    That in fact the electorate was no longer prepared to suspend its disbelief on Murdoch’s effect on politicians of all stripes?

    I don’t know. There were a dozen other factors working on them at the time. The intensity of the get Brown campaigns (not just in the Murdoch titles) were not in my view matched with feeling on the ground.

    You had a real sense that people felt they were being bullied into abandoning Labour. Many of the constituencies targeted by the Tories failed to produce gains, whilst others delivered.

    Something broke down in that election that I still don’t think has been adequately explored never mind explained..