Tory newspapers unleash the big guns on eve of general election

From bacon sarnies to nightmare Scots to looming 'socialism', the papers line up for the Tories


The bulk of the free press in Britain has today decided to celebrate its diversity of opinion and breadth of ideas by saying the same thing.

The right-wing papers have all run front page stories trying to frighten voters into their way of thinking, with overgrown editorials making essentially the same case for the same party: the Conservative-led government has done a good job, Labour (‘propped up by the SNP’ etc.) would wreck things.

The Times 

Proprietor: Times Newspapers, a subsidiary since 1981 of News UK, headed by Rupert Murdoch

Monthly readership (including online): 4,911,000

Print-only monthly readership: 4,358,000

Times eve of election

The Times front page presents the Cameron view of things with ‘Miliband trying to con way into No10, says PM’, based on snippets of interviews with the prime minister. Along with its massive leader column supporting the re-election of the Tory-Lib Dem coalition in the name of free markets, business, ‘enterprise and freedom’, the paper has a piece by David Cameron in which he likens Ed Miliband to an ‘arsonist’.


The Sun 

Proprietor: News UK, headed by Rupert Murdoch

Monthly readership (including online): 13,628,000

Print-only monthly readership: 12,658,000

Sun eve of election

The Sun has again mistaken childishness for wit, re-publishing the photo of Ed Miliband eating a bacon sandwich on its front page the day before the election. The page reads:

“This is the pigs ear Ed made of a helpless sarnie. In 48 hours, he could be doing the same to Britain.


Don’t swallow his porkies and keep him OUT”

It continues with the first lines of a Sun says column – in other words, comment on the front page, where the news usually goes.

Then there’s a two-page spread listing Labour’s ‘lies’ (‘HERE LIES LABOUR’) and writing sarcastic grafitti across Miliband’s limestone block of election pledges. (He should have known this would happen, really.) Then another spread (‘WE CAM DO IT!’), of what is in essence campaigning material for the Tory party, tries to light a fire under readers to get out and vote for their man.

The paper’s full-page Sun says column has a picture of Labour’s Ed Miliband, Ed Balls and Harriet Harman, plus comedians and Labour supporters Steve Coogan, Martin Freeman and (as of Monday) Russell Brand – all with long Pinocchio noses, (because they’re lying, get it?). The piece starts like this:

“Almost 32 years ago Britain overwhelmingly rejected socialism. Tomorrow, we will do so again in vast numbers. But this time, socialism may be forced on us whether we like it or not.”

Golly. (It closes by telling readers to ‘vote Tory’.)


The Daily Telegraph

Proprietor: Telegraph Media Group, owned by David and Frederick Barclay

Monthly readership (including online): 16,357,000

Print-only monthly readership: 3,923,000

Telegraph eve of election

The Telegraph has gone with the ‘scary Scottish woman’ angle, with the headline ‘Nightmare on Downing Street’ above a photo of SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon inside a children’s playhouse at a nursery in West Lothian. The story itself gives a pretty biased account of everything from Lord Kinnock’s predictions to John Major’s warnings to recent comments by the party leaders. The paper’s leader column tries to weigh in on the constitutional question of what happens if there’s a hung parliament. (Guess which side it takes?)


Daily Mail

Proprietor: Daily Mail and General Trust, headed by Jonathan Harmsworth, 4th Viscount Rothermere

Monthly readership (including online): 23,449,000

Print-only monthly readership: 10,636,000

Mail eve of election


The Mail can barely find space enough on its front page to tell readers how to vote. The paper has a full-page comment piece backing the Tories, with its headline featuring on page one:

“For sanity’s sake don’t let a class-war zealot and the SNP destroy our economy – and our very nation

Stirring stuff. Then it follows the lead of the Sun yesterday in advising readers on how to ‘vote tactically to keep out Red Ed’.


Daily Express

Proprietor: Express Newspapers, a subsidiary of Northern & Shell, which is wholly owned by Richard Desmond

Monthly readership (including online): 6,839,000

Print-only monthly readership: 3,019,000

Express eve of election

Meanwhile, the Daily Express has come right out and endorsed UKIP, though this was hardly necessary after owner and porn-baron Richard Desmond publicly gave the party £1million last month.

Oh, and last night Russian hereditary oligarch Evgeny Lebedev’s free London Evening Standard came out for the Tories, just after his Independent endorsed five more years of the coalition government. And today the freesheet City AM surprised no-one in backing the Conservatives.

This leaves the liberal Guardianits Sunday sister paper the Observerand Trinity Mirror’s Daily Mirror supporting Labour.

The Guardian has a story about looming health cuts and an unrelated picture of Boris Johnson on page 1 today, while the Mirror has  a picture of Cameron and a very different take on former PM John Major’s recent remarks. The cover is partisan, but unlike the Sun’s, at least it’s news.

(To see these papers’ readership figures, see the most recent National Readership Survey here.)

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter


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Read more: Here’s what Lucy Powell really said about Labour’s ‘Edstone’

The Sun is telling readers to vote tactically to beat Labour

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28 Responses to “Tory newspapers unleash the big guns on eve of general election”


    i would never buy a Torie newspaper and got rid of sky straight after the last election.

  2. Gerschwin

    Well duh! This is how it works, meanwhile over at the Mirror and Guardian.

  3. AlanGiles

    I don’t think you have to be a Tory or even sympathetic with them to see that Miliband, not to mention Balls, Reeves, Umunna, Tristram Hunt et al, are just not up to the job. They look and sound amateur, and they contradict each other (example: Thursday Miliband says he will not talk with the SDP Friday morning Andy Burnham says they will). Never mind I am sure the vile Duncan-Smith will still keep the equally vile Frank Field as his “czar”

    Meanwhile while the Edstone is propped up in the back garden of No 10, will Miliband be taking tablets of stone around the world, perhaps accompanied by drag queen Eddie Izzard?.

    The fact that Izzard is taken so seriously by the likes of Murphy, Miliband etc shows just how abysmal Miliband Labour is.

  4. Kathryn

    Dude, the tories are proven, actual liars and incompetents. I’d take folk who ‘look and sound amateur’ over that any day of the effing month.

  5. Gerschwin

    Sweets, opinion ain’t fact.

  6. AlanGiles

    “Dude” – all politicians lie – and “WMD in 45 minutes” was the biggest lie of the lot

  7. Leon Wolfeson

    And? Your Tories voted for war.

  8. Leon Wolfeson

    And the economy’s problems are factual, right – so you’re wrong. Thanks, sexist.

  9. Leon Wolfeson

    But of course, you *are* a Tory, here to fight for your party. You admit your close friends are vile, but they *are* your friends.


    When Labour win it is a double win by the electorate trashing the scum Tory Press.

  11. AlanGiles

    The loony can’t read. I said I am voting Green – which I am. Unlike you I don’t have a split personality

  12. sarntcrip

    pathetically predictable fortunately social media is negating tory press bias more and more

  13. uglyfatbloke

    Where does that put utter scum like Murphy? He ‘s a Labour MP, but so was Maxwell. He’s a proven bully and liar, but he’s not an amateur. He’s also taken the party in Scotland from bad to very much worse by his own strenuous efforts. ..and then there’s Alexander….

  14. Leon Wolfeson

    So you can’t read, Lord Blagger, as you claim your many accounts are really only accounts, so that makes you a troll.

    And you’re also colourblind, apparently. Or just confused, since you’ve given absolutely zero support to any green policies on here.

  15. AlanGiles

    Your religion (if you have one) has nothing to do with the fact that you are moronic little trouble maker – and the “Lord Blagger” joke has been so overdone I begin to think you are, or have a mental age, of about 8. Real playground stuff

  16. Leon Wolfeson

    And you’re back to repeatedly using eugenics in your playground insults, as you call facts jokes, Lord Blagger, as usual. Like your tirades about pensions.

    But nope, it’s “UR A MORON JEW”, and claims that allowing Jews to post is trouble making, as you try and restrict to just me the sort of slurs you routinely post – you’ve also of course done it to other non-Christian people, including a certain Mr. Milliband (what, you think I can’t read your slurs?)

    All because I identified the party you keep posting in support of. You’re so /frantic/ to hide it, to cover up your political views, Tory.

  17. AlanGiles

    I haver NEVER mentioned pensions, idiot. It’s a shame but you need to tell your psychiatrist that the medication isn’t working. You seem to have some sort of persecution complex. Like yourself, Miliband is a fool regardless of religion.

  18. Leon Wolfeson

    “UR MAD, JEW”

    Right right. it’s just coincidence. All a conspiracy, even, for you. There are lots of idiots in your worlds, as you deny your own posts.

    Your far right, eugenics-pushing social darwinist instance that people who disagree with you are insane really shows what you think. It appears I may be insulting the Tories…do you think they’re leftist?

  19. AlanGiles

    Every post confirms just how unhinged you are.

    I despise Iain Duncan-Smith, for example. I don’t know if he is C of E or Roman Catholic. Does that mean I am a terribly anti-Papist or anti C of E.

    I don’t know or care the religion of any politican, or any poster. It’s just you who appears to have a problem mate

  20. Leon Wolfeson

    That’s right, a Jew posting is unhinged, blah blah. Keep doubling down on your hatreds, and lashing out because I’m a leftist.

    And why do I care about your internal Tory politics, again? As you make excuses. Although I do think I’m doing the Tories a disservice…you seem to be too far right for them. Do you think IDS is a leftist?

    You have shown you care *deeply* about religion, repeatedly, and of course I have a problem with your bigotry, and your far right, social darwinist and totalitarian instance that disagreement with you is automagically mental illness, a stance which opposes any form of debate.

    Then you pretend to be voting green, which is pure mockery, clearly.

  21. Eddy Boyband

    People should be made to buy the mirror because every thing in it is true…………….

  22. Eddy Boyband

    People should be made to buy the mirror because every thing in it is true…………….

  23. Eddy Boyband

    When ever millionaire celebrity’s tell people how to vote I always think of this,

  24. AlanGiles

    Idotic prat

  25. Leon Wolfeson

    I’m sure you are, but what about my post?

  26. AlanGiles

    A man with as many problems as you have can’t be challenged because you are not connected with reality. You constantly come up with these crass one-liners, but sadly, however “entertaiining” you think you are, it doesn’t disguise your stupidity. You really ought to get help before you get committed

  27. Leon Wolfeson

    Yes yes, Jews are in a different reality to you, as you preach from your far right pulpit about the evils of the Jew. As you make up crap about “entertainment” as more smokescreens for your clearly hard right views, which you’re doubling down on.

    And committed to the grace because of your far right thugs, no doubt. But people far better than you have attempted intimidation.

    To which point – I’m a Jew, I’m alive, cry harder.

  28. Leon Wolfeson

    Yes yes, Jews are in a different reality to you, as you preach from your far right pulpit about the evils of the Jew. As you make up crap about “entertainment” as more smokescreens for your clearly hard right views, which you’re doubling down on.

    And committed to the grace because of your far right thugs, no doubt. But people far better than you have attempted intimidation.

    To which point – I’m a Jew, I’m alive, cry harder.

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