Top Lib Dem media tarts: Dec 2007 – Feb 2008

by Stephen Tall on April 10, 2008

Which Lib Dem MPs received the most media mentions between 1st December 2007 and 29th February, 2008? 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.

To qualify, the MP must have been mentioned either as a Liberal Democrat or Lib Dem. This will disadvantage those MPs who are working their regional media hard, but whose names do not appear under the party’s banners. Sorry, but them’s the rules.

Anyway, here’s the list in descending order of media mentions (with their Sept-Nov 2007 positions in brackets):

1. (2) Nick Clegg 1812
2. (4) Vince Cable 1306
3. (3) Chris Huhne 790
4. (1) Ming Campbell 563
5. (9) Norman Lamb 314
6. (5) Charles Kennedy 301
7. (11) Norman Baker 270
8. (8) Lembit Öpik 205
9. (6) David Laws 196
10. (16) Danny Alexander 158
11. (18) Nick Harvey 158
12. (14) Ed Davey 142
13. (10) Steve Webb 138
14. (23) David Heath 120
15. (17) Evan Harris 118
16. (24) Greg Mulholland 111
17. (12) Julia Goldsworthy 110
18. (20) Alistair Carmichael 109
19. (26) Lorely Burt 107
20. (7) Simon Hughes 102
21. (19) John Hemming 97
22. (21) Don Foster 92
23. (46) Roger Williams 89
24. (37) Sarah Teather 87
25. (27) Jo Swinson 85
26. (29) Adrian Sanders 79
27. (39) Lynne Featherstone 65
28. (40) Jeremy Browne 64
29. (25) Malcolm Bruce 60
30. (34) Richard Younger Ross 60
31. (35) Colin Breed 58
32. (59) Tom Brake 58
33. (28) Alan Beith 49
34. (31) Dan Rogerson 49
35. (22) Mark Oaten 48
36. (36) Mike Hancock 48
37. (32) Michael Moore 47
38. (51) Stephen Williams 47
39. (47) Jenny Willott 45
40. (13) Susan Kramer 43
41. (49) Bob Russell 43
42. (15) Matthew Taylor 40
43. (56) Willie Rennie 38
44. (42) Tim Farron 37
45. (38) Mark Williams 36
46. (53) John Barrett 35
47. (33) Andrew George 33
48. (63) John Leech 33
49. (30) Phil Willis 32
50. (41) Sandra Gidley 31
51. (52) Robert Smith 27
52. (48) John Thurso 23
53. (58) Paul Rowen 23
54. (57) Annette Brooke 21
55. (54) John Pugh 20
56. (43) Martin Horwood 18
57. (44) Paul Holmes 16
58. (55) David Howarth 15
59. (61) Paul Burstow 15
60. (62) Mark Hunter 13
61. (45) Paul Keetch 12
62. (50) Alan Reid 8
63. (60) Andrew Stunell 7

The list naturally comes with a heavy health warning – as I note whenever I produce these rankings, media mentions can be both positive and negative… as Nick Clegg is already discovering the hard way.

Nonetheless, as a party which often struggles to have its voice heard outside election time – when the broadcast media is forced by law actually 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.

The party leadership rather dominated coverage of the Lib Dems during December, inevitably boosting the profiles of both leadership candidates, as well as our erstwhile acting leader and his two predecessors. So, among the shadow cabinet, I’m going to single out for congratulations Norman Lamb, who has jumped up the ‘media tarts’ table to fifth place, ahead even of Charles Kennedy. A honourable mention should also go to Norman Baker, who continues to grab headlines for his dogged campaigning.

* Editor’s note: This is the fourth such list I’ve compiled: the first was back in March 2007 on my own blog; the second (Sept 2007) and third (Dec 2007) were published here on LDV.