Media Confidential

Farage’s Reform: the media’s wife—or its mistress?

The media has often shaped elections—sometimes by putting certain candidates in the spotlight. But this time, the polls look steadfast

June 20, 2024
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Is the UK general election all over even before the first vote is cast? Polls suggest that Labour has an unassailable lead, and so with two weeks of campaigning to go, is there any chance that media coverage could still influence the electorate? Lionel Barber and Alan Rusbridger are joined by two experienced political commentators to discuss how the parties have performed so far, and if any surprises are likely in the remaining fortnight.  

Michael Crick is a veteran of election campaigns, having started reporting on politics in the early 1980s, and Ros Taylor from the political podcast Oh God, What Now? has been on the political trail since the 1990s. Together with Alan and Lionel they reflect on Ed Davey’s capers, Sunak’s gaffes, Starmer’s “safe pair of hands” and the rise of Nigel Farage. 

The outcome of the election will inevitably have ramifications for the future of Conservative party—including raising questions about who will be its next leader. While Farage—who leads Reform—is clearly popular amongst certain areas of the media, is any news organisation likely to take the plunge and back him and laud him as a future prime minister, or is he destined to remain on the periphery?

 Also this week: The Washington Post saga continues and Lionel and Alan discuss how long Jeff Bezos can allow the chaos to continue, and Lionel reacts to breaking news that the Telegraph has lost a record £245 million: a story that promises to grow over the coming weeks.

 A transcript of this episode will be available shortly.