Majority want Murdoch to be forced out of BSkyB altogether
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Tuesday 26 July 2011
Two out of three people believe Rupert Murdoch's News Corp should have to dispose of its entire stake in BSkyB. According to a new survey for The Independent by ComRes, 65 per cent agree that the phone-hacking scandal shows News Corp is not a "fit and proper" organisation to own any part of BSkyB, while 26 per cent disagree. The finding will increase the pressure on media regulator Ofcom, which is reviewing whether Mr Murdoch's global media empire is "fit and proper" to keep its 39 per cent holding in BSkyB.
Mr Murdoch's firm has scrapped plans to buy 100 per cent of the television company. Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians have already called for News Corp to be forced to sell its remaining share.
The poll suggests the hackling scandal has damaged David Cameron's reputation more than those of the two other main party leaders. One in three people (33 per cent) says the scandal has made them less favourable towards him.
Recent polls have shown that the Labour leader Ed Miliband's personal ratings have improved. But ComRes found that people also regard him and Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, less favourably than they did before the controversy – a sign it may have damaged politicians generally.
While 10 per cent now regard Mr Miliband more favourably, 20 per cent view him less favourably; 4 per cent view Mr Clegg more favourably, and 22 per cent less favourably.
According to the polling, Labour has a 6-point lead over the Conservatives, its highest with ComRes since March, which suggests the scandal and economic uncertainty may be damaging Mr Cameron's party. Labour is unchanged on 40 per cent since the last ComRes poll for The Independent on Sunday a week ago; the Tories on 34 per cent (down 2 points); the Liberal Democrats on 13 per cent (up 3 points) and others on 13 per cent (down 1 point). This would give Labour an overall majority of 70 at a general election.
The public is divided over whether Mr Cameron's actions during the controversy make them question if he has the right judgement and skills to be Prime Minister, with 47 per cent agreeing and 44 per cent disagreeing.
ComRes telephoned a random sample of 1,002 UK adults between 22 and 24 July. Data were weighted demographically and by past vote recall.
ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables are at www.comres.co.uk
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