Being a glutton for punishment, another Brexit question struck me. Which newspapers are formally standing in the Leave camp, and which in the Remain?
This question might strike you as beyond obvious based on the typical political outlook they adhere to and the output of their columnists – but it turns out it’s not as straightforward as I imagined.
Please feel free to click through and interact with the below dashboard. In the full version you can use a dropdown selector to colour code the marks based on who owns the paper, its general political outlook and which party it supported in the 2015 UK general election.
A couple of things stood out to me:
- Right now, the big arguments for Leave are coming to us tinged (well, totally submerged in) with arguments appealing to the right wing of the political spectrum. However, there are papers who typically hold right-wing views that are pro Remain, albeit a minority. All the more left-wing papers that have declared are pro-Remain.
- In fact even within papers owned by the same organisation / person, it can be that some back Leave and some Remain.
The big shocker to me here was the Mail on Sunday backing Remain. One of the big scare campaigns from Remain boils down to “dreadful immigrants will come and eat your children if you don’t vote Leave”. The Mail on Sunday famously loves this sort of stuff – a 5-second Google found “Free hotels for the Calais stowaways in soft touch Britain” as a prime example of what they publish.
Now, whether this is proprietors hedging their bets, or decisions made at an editor rather than proprietor level I do not know – but it’s not quite what I expected. You can see the same sort of division in the Murdoch papers too.