What I wrote at Lib Dem Voice

March 30, 2007

Top Lib Dem media-tarts

Which Lib Dem MPs receive the most media mentions? If you’ve ever wondered (or even if you haven’t ‘til now) then this is the list for you.

The methodology is simple. I’ve trawled Lexis-Nexiss online database of all UK national newspapers (and a huge number of regional ones), feeding in the names of each of our MPs in turn, and seeing how many returns are generated. I have even - get this for über-geekness - combined figures for those who have variations on their name: eg, Vincent Cable and Vince Cable.

The figures below cover the last six months, September 2006 to March 2007. To qualify, the MP must have been mentioned either as a Liberal Democrat or Lib Dem. Those marked with an asterisk (*) are members of the Lib Dem shadow cabinet. It seemed only fair to highlight them, as they will (generally) find it easier to get quoted in the press. (Though, to be fair, that doesn’t apply to the position of chief whip, held by Paul Burstow.)

Unsurprisingly, party leader Ming Campbell tops the list, though I can’t tell you exactly how often he’s been mentioned, as he exceeded the maximum 1,000 returns Lexis-Nexis can cope with. For the record, he has been mentioned 856 times in the last three months.

Anyway, here’s the list in descending order of media mentions:

1. Ming Campbell* - 1,000+
2. Nick Clegg* - 528
3. Lembit Öpik* - 461
4. Charles Kennedy - 367
5. Vince Cable* - 289
6. Chris Huhne* - 270
7. Norman Baker - 264
8. Norman Lamb* - 237
9. Don Foster* - 218
10. David Laws* - 197
11. Sarah Teather* - 193
12. Evan Harris - 179
13. Simon Hughes* - 175
14. Nick Harvey* - 160
15. Alistair Carmichael* - 152
16. Matthew Taylor - 146
17. Julia Goldsworthy* - 146
18. Ed Davey* - 146
19. Danny Alexander* - 140
20. Andrew George - 138
21. Malcolm Bruce - 138
22. Adrian Sanders - 131
23. Steve Webb* - 130
24. Mark Oaten - 122
25. Dan Rogerson - 120
26. John Hemming - 112
27. Richard Younger-Ross - 92
28. Lorely Burt - 87
29. Colin Breed - 79
30. Alan Beith - 79
31. Michael Moore* - 69
32. John Barrett - 66
33. Jenny Willott - 60
34. Robert Smith - 60
35. Phil Willis - 58
36. Stephen Williams - 50
37. Martin Horwood - 50
38. David Heath* - 49
39. Greg Mulholland - 48
40. Roger Williams - 47
41. Lynne Featherstone* - 41
42. Mark Williams - 40
43. Bob Russell - 39
44. Jo Swinson* - 38
45. Andrew Stunell* - 38
46. Sandra Gidley - 38
47. Susan Kramer* - 37
48. Alan Reid - 36
49. John Thurso - 35
50. John Pugh - 35
51. Mike Hancock - 35
52. Jeremy Browne - 32
53. Willie Rennie - 29
54. Tom Brake - 27
55. Annette Brooke - 25
56. Tim Farron - 23
57. Paul Burstow* - 23
58. Paul Keetch - 20
59. Paul Holmes - 20
60. John Leech - 19
61. David Howarth - 10
62. Paul Rowen - 8
63. Mark Hunter - 8

Of course, it goes without saying (almost) that mentions can be both positive and negative… as the MP who’s third on this list might attest.

Nonetheless, particular congratulations are due to Norman Baker, Evan Harris and Matthew Taylor as the top three backbench MPs. (I’m not including Charles Kennedy, who has an inbuilt advantage.)

Congratulations also to Nick Clegg, Vince Cable and Chris Huhne for being the most-mentioned shadow cabinet members. (I’m not including Mr Öpik, who is… erm… a special case.)


PS:
I should confess I have my doubts about the reliability of my figure for Lib Dem shadow foreign secretary, Michael Moore, as I suspect stories mentioning his Oscar®-winning film-maker namesake might have slipped through the net. After all, the filters ‘liberal’ and ‘Democrat’ aren’t fool-proof.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

too much time on your hands??? LOL

Anonymous said...

How do these figures compare with those for the Labour and Conservative Front Benches during the same period ?

Anonymous said...

Really surprised that Stunell is so low - that is worrying given the portfolio he has.

Edward Davey is also not working hard enough.

Anonymous said...

The Liberal Democrats do not have a Shadow Cabinet.

They have Spokesmen!

Jimmy said...

The figure for Menzies Campbell is 1516 in the last 6 months.

Searching for Michael Moore and lib! dem! gives 55 hits.

Lembit Öpik gets 686 hits if you search for Lembit opik or Lembit Öpik or (lembit and lib! dem!)