The nation’s scribblers may be losing sleep over the growing power of
political spin doctors but for the general public it is a non-story. An
exclusive poll for PR Week by NOP last weekend showed that only one
third of the sample had even heard of the term.
However, most of those regarded them as influential - 44 per cent said
they had some influence on politics and 35 per cent said they had a lot.
This compares to 17 per cent who said they had very little or no
Of those who had heard of the term spin doctor, just over half (54 per
cent) believed their role was to manipulate the media to put the best
gloss on things for the party. One- third saw them in a more neutral
light as someone who works behind the scenes advising the party on how
to present its policies effectively.
Despite the concerns raised by some in the Labour Party about how far
spin doctors are actually dictating policy, only five per cent believed
their role was ‘to make and formulate party policy’.
Spin doctors do, however, remain an unpopular feature of modern
politics. Over half (58 per cent) of those familiar with the term spin
doctor believed politics would be better off without them.
The results are based on a poll of 1,000 people as part of NOP’s weekend
telephone Omnibus survey ‘Telebus’.