The European elections audit
How the nationals covered the European and local campaigns from May 12-26
Daily Express: front pages
The Express had the elections on the front seven times, but only once as anything other than a puff - after the European results were announced.
A smiling Farage featured four times, Cameron's picture appeared twice and the polls' seventh appearance was in a text-only puff.
Given the central role in the campaign played by Ukip and its emphasis on immigration and leaving the EU, the Express devoted surprisingly few pages to the elections. It ran many immigration, benefits and anti-EU stories over the fortnight but they were not directly related to the election. There was no attempt during these two weeks to focus on policy within the news pages and the only two parties to receive any coverage were Ukip and the Conservatives. Ed Miliband made a couple of appearances, but only as a joke figure eating a bacon buttie or not knowing the name of a councillor. There was barely a mention of the LibDems and none at all of the Greens. The local elections didn't trouble the Express team.
SubScribe was not impressed by the sale of a Ukip advertisement on a spread devoted to a profile of Farage. The paper did not, in the end, endorse Ukip, but allowing this ad on those pages was the next best thing.
The Express ran one feature in the two weeks - yet another assessment of Farage the man/Farage the politician, illustrated with three pictures of the Ukip leader and one of his wife.
The opinion pages
Ross Clark and Leo McKinstry wrote twice each about the elections. McKinstry took the view that the whole campaign was a waste of time because idle Britons would rather vote by post than walk to the polling station and so most votes had alrady been cast. Clark complained that there had been no policy debate - but the paper did not seem willing to address anything other than the anti-EU, anti-immigration viewpoint, and it does again highlight that point that journalists are there to question, not simply to report what people choose to say. If policy issues were not being debated, then journalists covering the campaign should have pressed the politicians.
The Express ran a series of leaders with the central theme that Britain needed to leave the EU.
Over the course of the two weeks up to and beyond polling day, Farage's picture appeared in the Express 14 times. Cameron was in the paper six times and Clegg twice. Ed Miliband appeared five times, but only because of his difficulties with a bacon sandwich. There were no photographs of him making a serious political point.
*based on headline words
The European elections audit
How the Press
covered the campaign and the aftermath
Plus the papers' detailed breakdown
The last wordle
It is remarkable that Leftwingers are such supporters of mass immigration, given that it is the British working class that has suffered most from the change. The wealthy might benefit from foreign nannies and plumbers, but too many British find their jobs taken and their living standards driven down by cheap imported labour. That is precisely why Labour is haemorrhaging support to Ukip
- Leo McKinstry,
Clegg's claim that three million people would lose their jobds in the event of us leaving the EU is a giant piece of scaremongering far worse than anything that has ever emanated from Ukip's campaign team...Nick Clegg knows he is losing the argument on Europe. He staked his reputation on a TV debate with Nigel Farage, deluding himself that he could win over a sceptical public with calm reason. He failed, not least because he couldn't produce any calm reason
- Ross Clark
Whether you think Britain would be better staying in or leaving the EU there is something appealingly honest about being the only party that goes to the polls with a clear policy.
That is why, in spite of the muck thrown at Ukip and some self-inflicted wounds such as Nigel Farage's unpleasant jube at Romanians making frightening neighbours, the party is still on course to do extremely well on Thursday
- Ross Clark
The choice to be made by Eurosceptic voters is a difficult one. Ukip, under the leadership of the irrepressible Nigel Farage, has provided an antidote to the traditional parties and given a strong voice to the British people's discontent with the EU. The Conservative Party remains the only Westminster party promising a referendum and at present seems the only party likely to deliver one.
One thing is for sure, though. Electing a vast number of anti-Brussels candidates to the European Parliament is the very best way of showing this country's utter contempt for the EU
- Leading article
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