Newton, Kenneth and Brynin, Malcolm
The national press and party voting in the UK
Political Studies, 49, (2), . (doi:10.1111/1467-9248.00313).
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The difficulty with resolving the classic problem of whether newspapers influence voting patterns is self-selection: readers select a paper to fit their politics, and newspapers select particular types of readers. One way round this chicken-and-egg problem is to compare the voting behaviour of individuals whose politics are reinforced by their paper, with those who are cross-pressured by their paper, and to compare both with those who do not regularly read a paper.
Using the British Household Panel study to analyse voting patterns in 1992 and 1997, this study suggest that newspapers have a statistically significant effect on voting, larger for Labour than Conservative sympathizers, and larger for the 1992 than the 1997 election. The broader implications of these findings for British politics and democracy are discussed.
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