Public turn on Murdoch: 70% oppose BSkyB takeover, 72% say he has “too much influence”

Public opinion is firmly opposed to Rupert Murdoch's proposed takeover of BSkyB, with voters finally waking up to the fact he has way too much influence over UK politics.

Public opinion is firmly opposed to Rupert Murdoch’s proposed takeover of BSkyB, with voters finally waking up to the fact he has “too much influence” over UK politics. The issue will come to a head this Wednesday, with Ed Miliband calling a Commons debate and vote on the News Corp takeover – a vote he seems certain to win, with Lib Dems backing him and many Tories reluctant to vote against him.

A YouGov poll (pdf) for The Sunday Times revealed, in response to the following questions:

Should the News Corp takeover of BSkyB be allowed? Yes: 9%, No: 70%;

What grounds should the takeover decision be made on? Competition grounds alone: 24%, Should take account of phone hacking: 54%;

What do you think of the original police investigation? Adequate: 6%, Inadequate: 75%;

Is it acceptable to pay the police for information? Yes: 2%, No: 92%;

What do you think of press regulation? PCC should continue: 25%, Parliament should set up a formal regulatory authority: 61%;

When should a public inquiry start? ASAP: 48%, After police investigation concludes: 44%

Who should conduct the investigation into the News of the World? News International themsleves: 6%, Someone from outside the organisation: 90%.

Are tabloids fair and accurate in their reporting? Yes: 9%, No: 71%;

Are tabloids out of control? Yes: 78%, No 14%.

While YouGov’s poll for Avaaz (pdf) found, in response to the following:

What impact will the BSkyB takeover have on the media? It will increase diversity: 4%, It will decrease diversity: 49%;

What impact will the deal have on journalism: Increase journalistic standards: 3%, Decrease journalistic standards: 52%;

What do you think the government takes into account more? Public interest: 14%, Interests of media companies: 43%;

Are Murdoch and other News Corp execs “fit and proper” people to own British media? Yes: 11%, No: 67%;

How much influence does Murdoch have over British politics? Too much: 72%, Not enough: 2%

What do you think of David Cameron’s relationship to Murdoch and News Corporation? Too close: 51%, About right: 12%.

In his commentary, YouGov president Peter Kellner concludes:

“However you look at these results, the picture is bleak for News Corporation. Its executives have a vast challenge to restore public faith in their operations.”

We will have more on the fallout from the phone hacking scandal later today and throughout the week on Left Foot Forward.

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