Leveson: Opinion Poll shows that 50% of public back cross-party charter and 69% favour tougher press regulation

24 07 2013

opinion_pollA new opinion poll carried by YouGov [pdf] and commissioned by the Media Standards Trust shows that 50% of respondents favour the Cross-Party Royal Charter setting up a recognition panel while only 13% favour the PressBoF charter.  A total of 69% of respondents favour tougher press regulation, with only 4% in favour of less tough regulation and 18% in favour of the current level.

Other headline figures include the following

  • 68% said they would not have confidence in a system of press regulation established by the major newspaper publishers (that’s up from 56 per cent when the same question was asked in May) – as opposed to 21% who said they would have confidence.
  • 82% think there’s a risk that there would be a repeat of unethical and illegal practices if the regulator proposed by newspapers went ahead (up from 73 per cent in May)
  • 63% say that implementation of the Leveson recommendations should have happened already or should happen now. Only 16% support a delay for negotiations.

The poll was of 1,866 adults and the fieldwork was carried out on 17 and 18 July 2o13.

The MST’s post on the poll has the headline “Public support Parliamentary Charter over press Charter by factor of almost 4 to 1

The Guardian reported on the poll under the headline “Press regulation: public prefers government’s plan to industrys’“. There has, perhaps unsurprisingly, been no other reporting of the poll in the mainstream media.  There is, however, a piece on the Press Gazette website: “Opinion poll suggests Parliament-backed press regulation has three times more public support than publishers’ plan“.

Commenting on the latest poll Gerry McCann said:

“There is a simple choice before us: the press proprietors’ plan or the plan suggested by Leveson and backed by Parliament.  This poll confirms that the public utterly rejects the proprietors’ scheme and wants Leveson instead. They want something effective and independent, something that will protect them from the kinds of abuses we’ve seen in recent years.  The poll also shows that people are fed up waiting for this change. The Privy Council needs to see these figures and realise that it’s time to end the political manoeuvring and put the Leveson plan into action.

These poll results are in line with a series of opinion polls over a period of nine months that have flatly contradicted the editorial position taken by the overwhelming majority of British national newspapers on press regulation.   Twelve out of fourteen polls have gone against the press line on a statutory underpinning.

The following is a chronological list of Leveson-related polls, 2012-2013 before the current poll:

IPPR/YouGov, (fieldwork conducted on) 20-21 May 2012 (pdf)

Hacked Off/YouGov, 3-6 October 2012 (pdf)

Carnegie UK/Demos/Populus, published October 2012 (pdf)

Sun/YouGov, 4-5 November 2012 (pdf)

Free Speech Network/Survation, 12-13 November 2012 (pdf)

Media Standards Trust/YouGov, 21-23 November 2012 (pdf)

ITV News/ComRes, 23-25 November 2012 (pdf)

BBC Radio 5 Live/ComRes, 23-25 November 2012 (pdf)

Sunday Times/YouGov, 30 November – 1 December 2012 (pdf)

Media Standards Trust/YouGov, 31 January – 1 February 2013 (pdf)

YouGov, 10-11 March 2013 (pdf)

Sunday Times/YouGov, 14-15 March 2013 (pdf)

YouGov, 19 March 2013 (pdf)


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