The European elections audit
How the nationals covered the European and local campaigns from May 12-26
The Daily Telegraph: front pages
Election issues appear on eight of the ten front pages, although one relates to the Telegraph's bid to co-host the general election leaders' debates.
Ukip appears in five headlines, EU in three, and Farage and Cameron twice each. Labour is mentioned only once - after the polls closed - and Miliband, Clegg and the LibDems not at all.
Only once in the two weeks before polling day did the Telegraph devote an entire page to issues related exclusively to the European or local elections: on May 17, the day after Farage's LBC interview.
For the rest of the time, the polls had to take their chance amid the mishmash of "political" stories ranging from a Tory MP photographed in a swimsuit when she was a lifeguard 15 years ago to Boris and Dave rescuing a woman who collapsed in the street.
On May 20, two days before the country went to the polls, there was nothing at all about the elections in the news pages, although Ed Miliband's pronouncement on the minimum wage merited six pars on page two - and a first leader denouncing the policy at twice the length.
After polling had closed, the declarations were each covered with one-and-a-half page spreads, including a big map and half a page of results (not shown above) on Friday.
"Farage" appeared in eight headings, Ukip in five and Labour in four. There wasn't a word on the Greens. Farage also topped the picture parade with six - if you count the LBC triptych as three. If not, Cameron and Johnson shared the top spot with five each. Clegg appeared twice and Miliband once - in a montage of the leaders heading for the polls.
On Monday May 12, the Telegraph announced that James Kirkup was embarking on a week-long examination of Britain's place in Europe. The first piece was a look at the benefits and pitfalls of immigration, with the focus on Poles in Wales. It is a balanced piece, including this quote from a plant hire businessman:
"The Poles' work is outstanding. The pride they take in it is amazing. The way they look after a machine, it looks better and we get more use out of it. We spend less money and we do more business. And then we hire more people."
The paper didn't have enough interest in its series, however, to print anything other than the first episode - everything else had to be accessed online. The follow-up pieces included Boris Johnson reminiscing about being the paper's Brussels correspondent, concerns about the advance of the far Right, German dominance and "what has Europe ever done for you".
Other pre-election features were a day in the life of Cameron, the dawn of four-party poltics and a Ukip retrospective.
The opinion pages
Telegraph commentators wrote on the elections almost every day and cartoonists Adams and Bob used them as their topic on six of the ten days. Farage is overwhelmingly the central character. The paper ran half a dozen leaders, supporting Cameron, denigrating Miliband and warning of the dangers of Ukip.
*based on headline words
If there is one overriding reason for the poor turnout in local, European and even general elections it is this sense that it is a waste of time. For goodness' sake, even the public's vote last Saturday in the Eurovision Song Contest was ignrored...If we can't even influence the outcome of an over-the-top kitsch-fest, what chance do we have with something that really matters?
- Philip Johnston
No one is likely to be less enthralled by the durability of Mr Balls than David Cameron, who loathes him. Where Mr Miliband, who has claimed intellectual superiority over the Prime Minister, got an upper second-class degree, Mr Balls graduated with a better first-class degree than Mr Cameron, his Oxford contemporary
- Mary Riddell
I find it utterly amazing that we are approaching the climax of this so-called Euro-election campaign, yet there has been hardly a mention of this central question: the democratic question, the only question worth asking. After almost four decades as members of this club, do you want to stay in? Do you want reform? Or do you want to come out?
- Boris Johnson
David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg struggle to find polite ways of acknowledging this anger without saying "there, there" and patting voters on the hand. Public disillusionment is entirely natural they murmur, unconvincingly, but what really matters - the stock phrase of the politician trying to change the subject - is who has the solutions. Politicians tiptoe around the electorate, terrified of making things worse. Imagine the difficulty: they shuffle up to us to ask for our votes only to have their heads bitten off - then have to watch in horror as that man Farage, beer and fag in hand, cackles his way into the affections of the public
- Benedict Brogan
Big names were thin on the ground. Anyone hoping to see Godfrey Bloom in a grass skirt handing out Um Bongo was disappointed. We had been promised a speech from Mr Farage, in which he would explain to ethnic minority voters why Ukip was the party for them. A rumour spread that he was sitiing in a car round the corner, waiting to see how things panned out. Reporters raced about, hunting for the mystery car. No sign. "Nigel's done a bottle job," beamed a protester
- Michael Deacon
With politicians constantly accusing each other of bad faith, the public has come to the conclusion that nearly all of them are shysters. No wonder the same politicians aren't trusted when they fulminate against Ukip, whose entire appeal is based on its boasts of being the anti-politics party
- Sue Cameron
One reason many view politicians with contempt is their habit of over-promising and under-delivering. Often moderation is the wiser course: when it comes to Brussels, David Cameron's cautious pragmatism - promising reform but warning that it will involve a long period of obdurate negotiation - is less viscerally satisfying than blood-curdling denunciation, but more realistic
- Leading article
The election audit
The last wordle
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