How a boycott of The Sun helped make Liverpool a Remain city

PUBLISHED: 09:23 28 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:20 28 August 2019

Copies of

Copies of "The Sun" newspaper sit on a news stand before the EU referendum. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

© 2016 Bloomberg Finance LP

A boycott of The Sun in Liverpool after the Hillsborough disaster helped to make Liverpool a Remain city, a new study has revealed.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism

Experts at the London School of Economics and University of Zurich found that Merseyside was 10% less Eurosceptic than the rest of the UK as a result of boycotting the newspaper.

The study found that most readers switched their newspaper of choice to The Mirror after it printed a front-page wrongly attributing the blame of the Hillsborough disaster to the behaviour of fans.

The study looked at the British Social Attitudes survey for both the 1975 referendum on Europe and the 2016 EU referendum.

You may also want to watch:

In the EU referendum Merseyside voted for Remain by 51% to 49%, with 58% of those living in Liverpool voting to stay in the European Union.

MORE: Jürgen Klopp - I still hope that someone will use common sense on Brexit in the end

The researchers said that "the boycott of the most important Eurosceptic newspaper - The Sun in Merseyside as a consequence of The Sun's reporting on the​ Hillsborough sporting disaster - led to a decrease of Euroscepticism in Merseyside, which we estimate to amount to around 11 percentage-points."

The report continues: "Moreover, our results suggest that The Sun boycott in Merseyside might have decreased the leave vote share in Merseyside in the 2016 EU referendum."

They added: "This study therefore shows that sustained media campaigns on emerging issues can have large, lasting, and ultimately, consequential effects on public opinion, and public policy."

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest anti-Brexit campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy