Election Watch: Study shows Blair turning media image around

Having been lambasted in the opening week of the general election campaign over Tony Blair's status as a 'liability' to the party, Labour has since enjoyed much more positive coverage in current affairs programmes.

The PRWeek/TNS Media Intelligence analysis tells the story of a party that has diffused some of the initial negativity while getting a considerably more positive reception on a range of issues.

Although only ten per cent of coverage was positive in week one of the campaign, by week three (Monday 18 to Sunday 24 April), this had risen to 28 per cent.

The proportion of negative coverage of Labour, meanwhile, has dropped from 49 to 42 per cent. For the Conservatives by contrast, this figure has increased from just nine to 21 per cent between weeks one and three.

But the Tories did also manage to increase positive coverage from 15 to 21 per cent, having scored a number of policy 'hits'.

According to TNS, Labour's better showing can be attributed mainly to the strong economy starting to supplant doubts over the PM's character as the central issue.

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