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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Mission Control by Be Broadcast Showcases Starmer’s Edge in January’s Political Narrative

Mission Control’s in-depth analysis has propelled Keir Starmer to the forefront of January’s political discourse in UK broadcast media, surpassing Rishi Sunak across a comprehensive review of over 41,000 discussions. Starmer’s initial January discourse, which presented his strategic vision and objectives, captured widespread endorsement, overshadowing Sunak’s endeavours to divert attention through speculative mentions of general election timings.

Challenges to Sunak’s policies, particularly the contentious ‘stopping the boats’ initiative and the Rwanda policy referendum, have faced considerable opposition and internal dissent, tarnishing his portrayal in the media. In contrast, Starmer’s adept manoeuvring and focus on national issues such as the prohibition of ‘Zombie Knives’ have notably elevated his profile and engagement levels, according to Be Broadcast’s Mission Control findings.

An exhaustive assessment by Be Broadcast’s Mission Control, the analytical cornerstone of Be Broadcast, has spotlighted Keir Starmer as the pivotal figure in January’s broadcast media landscape, overshadowing Rishi Sunak through an extensive scrutiny of over 41,000 dialogues across the UK.

In the early days of January, Starmer’s pronouncement, where he outlined his vision and goals, was universally applauded, creating a positive momentum for his leadership. This momentum faced a brief challenge when Sunak implied that the general election might occur in late 2024, an attempt to steer the media spotlight away from Starmer’s commendable reception.

However, Sunak’s endeavour to shift the media narrative was less effective than anticipated. Starmer’s counter-critique, accusing Sunak of ‘squatting’ in power, not only recaptured media attention but also underscored the adverse effects of Sunak’s tactical moves.

The report also highlights the hurdles faced by Sunak, especially concerning the Rwanda policy and vote, his electoral strategy, and the UK’s involvement in military actions in Yemen, as primary areas of discord.

Sunak’s January was notably marred by his flagship ‘stopping the boats’ policy and the Rwanda policy vote, which predominantly shaped his media narrative. Criticism from within his own ranks, particularly by figures such as Sir Simon Clarke, resulted in a largely negative media portrayal.

The focus on ‘stopping the boats’ remained central to Sunak’s policy discussions in the media, with other policy areas receiving less attention.

Meanwhile, Starmer strategically redirected attention towards domestic concerns, notably his proposal to ban ‘Zombie Knives’. However, this focus was somewhat overshadowed by the political manoeuvres of Sir Simon Clarke, illustrating the significant impact of internal party dynamics on the public policy debate.

Insights from the Mission Control Analysis:

  • Starmer’s Broadcast Voice Share: Keir Starmer’s broadcast voice share saw a substantial increase of 46% from December to January, marking a significant rise in his engagement and visibility. Nevertheless, he still trails behind Rishi Sunak in overall voice share, which indicates Sunak’s larger media footprint.
  • Media Corrections Affecting Sunak: A media correction related to Rishi Sunak’s statements about the migration backlog, which was extensively challenged by various media entities, resulted in a one-point reduction for Sunak. This highlights the critical importance of accuracy and reliability in the public pronouncements of political leaders.
  • Leaders’ Personalities as a Point of Debate: The analysis points to the personalities of the leaders as a significant aspect of contention, reflecting a broader conversation about leadership styles and public appeal within the current political context.

The political dialogue on UK regional radio platforms saw a considerable volume, with neither Starmer nor Sunak actively engaging in these platforms, missing a chance to directly connect with regional audiences.

The primary media platforms leading the narrative around the political leaders were GB News, Times Radio, LBC London, and TalkTV, significantly influencing the media narrative and public perceptions of both leaders.

Throughout January, Sunak’s portrayal as a cautious and strategic figure focused on navigating his party’s internal complexities and broader national policy debates. In contrast, Starmer was seen as analytical and responsive, particularly to the leadership and decisions of Sunak, indicating an ongoing strategic dialogue between the opposition and the government.

The media often remarked on the perceived lack of charisma in both leaders, frequently drawing unfavourable comparisons to the charismatic former Prime Ministers like Boris Johnson.

In December, a series of media corrections, predominantly regarding taxation policies, emphasized the focus on accuracy in political statements. Notably, Sunak faced corrections regarding claims about the resolution of the immigration backlog, highlighting the importance of credibility in policy declarations.

Sunak’s portrayal in the media frequently connected him negatively with previous Conservative leaders, whereas Starmer tended to be associated more positively or neutrally with his Shadow Cabinet members.

With the upcoming election, the absence of clear policies from either side has resulted in minimal policy-driven media coverage. Instead, the discussions have largely focused on the personalities of the leaders, leading to an analysis driven more by character than policy due to the lack of substantive policy debates.

Josh Wheeler, the Founder of Be Broadcast, reflecting on the analysis, stated, “Broadcast media provides a distinct platform to influence the electorate’s hearts and minds. While Starmer has taken the lead in January, it is essential for both leaders to refine their public engagement strategies. This analysis not only highlights Starmer’s effective presence in January but also points to the strategic adjustments necessary for both parties to more effectively resonate with voters.”

This comprehensive analysis from Be Broadcast’s Mission Control underscores the dynamic interplay between political strategies and media narratives, providing valuable insights into the shifting political landscape as the UK moves closer to a crucial electoral event.

About Mission Control:

Be Broadcast’s Mission Control offers brands critical insights into broadcast news, enhancing media engagement and strategic brand evolution.

By tracking broadcaster reactions and discussions about brands, it enables timely and informed responses to emerging crises. Mission Control also provides detailed monitoring of competitor brands and the media landscape, aiding in the development of data-driven strategies for success.

This tool not only monitors 223 UK broadcast outlets continuously but also translates broadcast data into actionable insights, acting as a strategic resource for brand achievement.

In this series, Mission Control examines the monthly performance of Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer in the lead-up to the General Election.


  • Proactive Peak Initiative (1 Point): Awarded to individuals demonstrating proactive leadership and influential engagement in specific scenarios.
  • Positive Reactive Response (1 Point): Given for effective and positive reactions to external events or situations, showcasing adaptability and resilience.
  • Volume of Engagement (1 Point): Allocated based on the total mentions or engagements, reflecting the individual’s prominence in the discourse.
  • Dominance in Share of Voice (1 Point): Acknowledged for securing a significant portion of the overall conversation, indicating a strong presence and influence.
  • Increment in Share of Voice (1 Point): Awarded for a 10% improvement in share of voice compared to the previous month, signifying increased influence and engagement in the media landscape.
  • Positive Sentiment Balance (Up to 2 Points): Earn up to two points for accumulating five positive percentage points, indicative of a favourable reception.
  • Personality Impact (1 Point): Granted for instances where the individual’s personality significantly influences the narrative or public perception.
  • Accuracy and Media Corrections (Deduct up to 1 Point): Deduct points for media corrections issued, reflecting on the accuracy and reliability of the individual’s statements or actions.
Sam Allcock
Sam Allcockhttps://businesslancashire.co.uk/
Sam Allcock is a highly regarded digital entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in online marketing for some of the World’s biggest brands. He has extensive knowledge and experience in SEO and digital marketing. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.


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