Top Lib Dem media tarts of the year

by Stephen Tall on September 3, 2007

Which Lib Dem MPs received the most media mentions between 1st September 2006 and 31st August 2007?

To find out I trawled Lexis-Nexis’s 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 were generated.

(I first compiled this list back in March, over at my own blog, since when Iain Dale has taken to tracking the performance of the Tory shadow cabinet – and a handful of Lib Dems – on a monthly basis.)

For ultra-fairness, those with variations on their names – eg, Vince[nt] Cable and Ed[ward] Davey – have had their scores combined. To qualify, the MP must have been mentioned either as a Liberal Democrat or Lib Dem.

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

Ming Campbell 3,506
Charles Kennedy 987
Nick Clegg 974
Lembit Öpik 750
Vince Cable 660
Norman Lamb 567
Chris Huhne 562
Norman Baker 471
Simon Hughes 405
Sarah Teather 391
Don Foster 386
David Laws 381
Alistair Carmichael 318
Nick Harvey 305
Evan Harris 280
Andrew George 274
Adrian Sanders 270
Ed Davey 266
Julia Goldsworthy 263
Danny Alexander 254
John Hemming 247
Malcolm Bruce 246
Matthew Taylor 244
Richard Younger-Ross 231
Steve Webb 223
Mark Oaten 218
Phil Willis 208
Dan Rogerson 190
Lorely Burt 157
Susan Kramer 144
Colin Breed 136
Michael Moore 133
Jenny Willott 124
David Heath 122
Greg Mulholland 119
Stephen Williams 114
Sandra Gidley 104
Jo Swinson 97
Robert Smith 96
Martin Horwood 96
John Barrett 91
Andrew Stunell 89
Alan Beith 79
Mark Williams 78
Roger Williams 77
Bob Russell 74
Lynne Featherstone 69
Jeremy Browne 68
Mike Hancock 67
John Thurso 62
Alan Reid 56
Willie Rennie 56
John Pugh 54
John Leech 52
Paul Burstow 48
Tom Brake 47
Paul Rowen 45
Annette Brooke 40
Paul Holmes 40
Paul Keetch 38
Tim Farron 30
David Howarth 22
Mark Hunter 21

Naturally all this comes with a heavy health warning – as I noted when I first produced this list, media mentions can be both positive and negative… as the MP who’s fourth on this list might attest.

Nonetheless, as a party which often struggles to have its voice heard outside election time – when the broadcast media is forced by law to do its job and report impartially – it’s clearly crucial that all our MPs do their utmost to ensure they and the party are as prominent as possible.

It’s also only fair to note that Lib Dem shadow cabinet members are, generally, going to find it easier to get into the press than our backbenchers. So particular congratulations are due to Norman Baker (not a front-bencher for the majority of the last year), Evan Harris, Andrew George and Adrian Sanders for their high placings. (Charles Kennedy is a bit of a special case.)

Congratulations, too, to Nick Clegg, Vince Cable and Norman Lamb for being the three most-mentioned members of the Lib Dem shadow cabinet this year. (Lembit is a bit of a special case, too.)