Jeremy Corbyn media coverage deliberately biased against him, British public believes

Perception of unfairness extends beyond supporters of Labour leader

Jon Stone
Political Correspondent
Sunday 04 September 2016 16:44 BST
Jeremy Corbyn has faced a hostile reception from the press
Jeremy Corbyn has faced a hostile reception from the press

A majority of the British public believe the media is deliberately biased against Jeremy Corbyn and seeking to portray him in a negative light.

Just 29 per cent of British adults disagreed that the “mainstream media as a whole has been deliberately biasing coverage to portray Jeremy Corbyn in a negative manner” when asked by pollsters YouGov.

51 per cent of people agreed that coverage had been deliberately biased and while 21 per cent said they were not sure.

Labour voters were even more adamant with 69 per cent alleging bias, while a staggering 97 per cent of Labour members and supporters intending to vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership election perceived bias.

Supporters of Owen Smith within the Labour party were actually significantly less likely to believe coverage against Mr Corbyn had been biased than the general population or regular Labour voters. 44 per cent said coverage had been biased but 53 per cent said it had not.

Women in the Labour selectorate were more likely to believe the coverage was biased than men and older people in the group were also more likely to believe it had been deliberately biased – despite Mr Corbyn’s higher support generally with younger people.

Owen Smith calls Corbyn 'a lunatic'

The poll findings chime with the conclusions of a study by academics at LSE researched earlier this year. The academics assessed the content of eight national newspapers between 1 September and 1 November 2015, when Mr Corbyn was first elected and found most articles failed to properly represent his actual views on issues.

YouGov polling also found that numbers Mr Corbyn’s supporters believe a number of theories about the Labour leadership election.

90 per cent of Mr Corbyn’s supporters believed PR agencies were in some way involved in orchestrating the coup of Labour MPs against him, while 55 per cent said it was likely that the intelligence services, including MI5, were working to undermine him.

These theories were less popular with the general public, with 45 per cent and 19 per cent of GB adults also subscribing to them respectively.

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