Re: It's contrarian revisionism
No revisionism here, it was never true in the first place:
>> Two years later the truth emerged in the definitive study of that election. Labour's Last Chance?, edited by Anthony Heath, Roger Jowell and John Curtice, contained the results of a panel survey in which people who were interviewed after the 1987 election were re-interviewed in 1992.
Not surprisingly, it found that most Sun, Mail and Express readers voted Tory, while most Mirror readers voted Labour. The question is, did they cast their vote because their newspaper told them to, or did they choose the paper that matched their outlook? The evidence is overwhelmingly the latter.
The data showed that the shift in attitudes between 1987 and 1992 among the readers of the Sun and other pro-Tory tabloids was much the same as among the rest of the electorate. In both groups, Labour's support rose by four percentage points. The authors concluded: "Neither the Sun nor any other of the pro-Conservative tabloid newspapers were responsible for John Major's unexpected victory."
So why did the myth of the Sun's influence take hold? One reason is that the opinion polls made a mess of that election, exaggerating Labour's support for months. The Tories were always on course for victory.
The academics repeated their exercise in the 1997 election, when the Sun backed Blair. Did that make a difference? No, according to John Curtice: 'The pattern of vote switching during the campaign amongst readers of the Sun or any other ex-Tory newspaper proved to be much like that of those who did not read a newspaper at all.' Curtice concluded, to paraphrase, that the Sun may have helped Labour - but only slightly and only before it publicly backed Blair <<
The "1990s News International War Machine" is a myth.