UK poll: After result, media allies turn on PM May

After the results were declared, even pro-Conservatives media houses described May’s election campaign as “disastrous” and warned that her political future was at risk.

world Updated: Jun 11, 2017 17:53 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
UK poll,Conservative Party,Prime Minister Theresa May
British daily newspapers after the exit poll results were announced.(AFP)

British newspapers have a history of openly supporting political parties, but those who backed the Conservative Party before Thursday’s election appeared to have abandoned Prime Minister Theresa May after her gamble backfired and the Tories were forced to form a minority government.

The most famous example of partisan coverage is The Sun, claiming credit for the Conservative Party’s 1992 election victory with the headline: “It’s The Sun Wot Won It”. The 2017 campaign saw similar partisan coverage, but several popular blogs were also part of it.

Before Thursday’s election, every broadsheet and tabloid made its preference known. The titles owned by Rupert Murdoch supported the Conservative Party while The Guardian and the Daily Mirror batted for Labour. The Economist backed the Liberal Democrats.

But after the results, even the pro-Conservative titles turned on May. On voting day, The Sun urged its readers not to “chuck Britain in the Cor-bin”, but after the results were out, its front page headline, over a photo of May eating chips, was “She’s had her chips”.

The Daily Mail led with, “Tories turn on Theresa”, and described the prime minister’s election campaign as “disastrous” and said the Conservatives had been “plunged into civil war”.

The Daily Telegraph and The Times, which, like the Sun and Mail, supported the Conservatives before the election, also warned that May’s future was at risk. The Times’ front page said: “May stares into the abyss.”

The Guardian, which backed Labour, said May and the Conservatives had gone from “hubris to humiliation” during the election campaign. Daily Mirror accused May of forming a “Coalition of crackpots”, and pointed out that Northern Ireland-based Democratic Unionist Party — with whom May has formed the government — opposes gay marriage and abortion.

First Published: Jun 10, 2017 14:54 IST