What was the Standard's role in Boris Johnson victory?

Boris Johnson has the Evening Standard partly to thank for his successful campaign to become London mayor, according to the Guardian.

City University director of journalism Adrian Monck tells the paper: “In a city with just one newspaper, the fact it backs one candidate so wholeheartedly feels odd, it feels partisan. It’s quite a bold move.”

The Independent on Sunday asks the same question: “Was it the Standard wot won it?”

“While newspapers can influence the way people vote, there is evidence that people prefer to read a paper they agree with,” the paper says.

“So it could be argued that the Standard’s efforts to promote Boris Johnson and stigmatise Ken Livingstone were a case of preaching to the converted.”

Andrew Gilligan, writing in the Independent, is less sure.

“Our investigations into Lee Jasper and the missing millions crystallised many Londoners’ existing doubts about Livingstone,” he says.

“The Standard’s comment pages were hostile to Ken. But we used arguments, mainly derived from the facts we discovered, not insults. We separated news and comment.”

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