How the ‘war on terror’ coverage affected the UK vote

When British Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap general election, in search of a fresh mandate before negotiating the UK’s way out of the European Union, her lead in the polls made her look unbeatable.

She also knew that most of Britain’s newspapers had her back since 70 percent of the papers sold in the UK are, like May, conservative. They’re not shy with their opinions and they set an agenda broadcast journalists often follow. Those papers were hammering opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, an avowed leftist.

May’s campaign was showing signs of stumbling prior to the Manchester and London terror attacks that pushed domestic security to the top of the agenda. That’s a scenario, when fear is in the air, in which conservative parties – like May’s tend to do well. But, for some reason, that didn’t happen this time. Instead, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party surged with him saying aloud what many believe but few western politicians dare to say – that it’s time for a total rethink on the so-called “war on terror.”

Despite coming under constant criticism in the conservative press; despite the state-funded broadcaster, the BBC, repeating right-wing talking points from those papers, depicting Corbyn as a security risk, his party won enough seats to shock the so-called experts and deny Theresa May the majority government – and the mandate – that she wanted, one that the papers tried – and failed – to deliver.

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