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School of Politics and International Relations

TV debates ‘could sway Tory leadership contest more than newspapers’


TV debates may be more influential in who wins the Conservative Party leadership contest than newspapers, experts have said.
Tim Bale, Politics Professor at Queen Mary University of London, said it is “undoubtedly true that party members are pretty avid consumers of news compared to most ordinary voters”, but cautioned that newspapers do not ultimately have the power to swing contests, with most party members getting their news from broadcast media.
A survey from his 2019 book exploring newspaper preferences of party members in 2017 suggested only around 10% of Conservative Party members did not read any newspaper.

This was covered in the Daily Mail, Independent, Evening Standard
Professor Bale was also quoted in various further pieces around the Conservative leadership race, featuring in the Financial Times, Guardian, Independent, Daily Mail, Times, BBC Politics Live (11 minutes in), and the Daily Telegraph.



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