Opinion poll finds public doubt Leveson will deliver

The public wants stricter media regulation but does not expect the Leveson Inquiry to address all its concerns, an opinion has poll found.

More than four in five voters questioned by YouGov backed the creation of a statutory body to oversee the press – with a large majority of those saying it should have strict powers.

Almost half (48 per cent) said newspapers had too much power over politicians – compared with 27 per cent who said it was the right amount or too little.

And there was significant backing for forcing newspapers and websites to become politically impartial – with those considering that would be better for democracy in a 45 per cent to 36 per cent lead.

Most voters supported a limit on the number of national newspapers any individual could own – with the majority of those believing the maximum should be one or two.

And 84 per cent endorsed proposals that apologies should be placed as prominently as the original incorrect story – even if that meant they went on the front page.

But asked whether they were confident that the Inquiry would “address all the public’s concerns about the power and responsibility of the media”, they said not by 47 per cent to 38 per cent.

The polling, which saw 1,705 people surveyed on Sunday and Monday, was commissioned by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) thinktank.

IPPR director Nick Pearce said: “Perhaps not surprisingly, given the hacking scandal and other revelations, this polling shows that the public mood has hardened significantly towards tighter regulation of media standards and more controls on media ownership.

“Understanding this public appetite for change, while ensuring that the UK has a free, vibrant and economically viable media, will be the challenge of the months ahead.”

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