Newspapers more influential than social media during general election - poll

Posted On: 
26th July 2017

Newspapers and magazines were more influential than social media in helping voters make up their minds during the election, according to a new poll.

23% of voters said newspapers were important in helping them choose who to vote for.
PA Images

The YouGov survey showed that 32% of people said printed publications helped them choose who to vote for, compared to 16% who relied on sites like Twitter and Facebook.

However, the poll also showed 51% of 18 to 24-year-olds thought social media more influential, compared to just 28% who opted for newspapers.

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Some 58% agreed that the “advent of the digital age has diminished the influence of newspapers", but 48% said they still thought that newspapers have a “significant impact on the outcome" of elections.

The findings were revealed at an event in London looking at how the media contributed to the shock election result, which saw Theresa May lose her Commons majority and Labour perform far better than expected.

The poll – which was commissioned by the London Press Club and Society of Editors – also showed that 43% of voters think that a newspaper’s endorsement of a political party is “damaging for democracy”.

Both Labour and the Conservatives targeted voters via social media during the election campaign.

But it was Mr Corbyn's party which was widely-viewed to have been more successful, with Labour proving far more popular among younger voters.

Elsewhere, the poll showed that 45% of the public still get their political news from a newspaper or a magazine, although 42% of 18 to 24-year-olds used online sources.

Around one in six voters – 16% – believe the media influenced the outcome of the election, while just 7% thought the media was fair and balanced, and 4% thought they accurately reported the facts.