As the campaign evolved, one surprise was the consistency of the
opinion polls for both Labour and the Conservatives. Apart from the
’rogue’ ICM/Guardian poll on 23 April, which narrowed the gap to five
points, other pollsters showed little deviation since the campaign
started. Gallup, which published a daily rolling poll, saw the Labour
share of vote cover a spread of 53 to 48 per cent. Media favourability
showed mild but consistent improvement as the Sun declared for Blair,
followed later by the FT. Labour’s turning point can be traced to Tory
divisions on the single currency and the ’private manifestos’ of
In the Tory camp there was a clear correlation between performance in
the press and voter intentions. The inclination of both the Sun and the
Express was a key factor in determining the overall lack of favourable
press, while even its traditional support from the Daily Telegraph and
Daily Mail mixed positive comment with criticism.
Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International.
Additional cuttings supplied by The Broadcast Monitoring Company.
’What The Papers Say’ can also be found at: http//www.carma.com/carma.