How many members of the shadow cabinet can you name? Probably not many, if a new survey of politician’s “visibility” is to be believed. Public affairs firm Hanover Communications has totted up the number of mentions accrued by politicians in the national print media this year, and it is sobering reading for the Labour frontbench.
Ed Miliband is the only member of Labour’s top command to make it into the top 10:
The shadow chancellor Ed Balls just about makes it into the top 20, coming in at 18. Just two more Labour frontbenchers make it into the top 50 — Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper at 24 and Deputy Leader Harriet Harman at 29.
Although the new shadow cabinet is clearly struggling to make waves in the press, David Miliband maintained a solid profile, at number 22, as did Gordon Brown (9) and Alistair Darling (15).
The Labour frontbench — with the exception of Miliband and Balls — were all outperformed by Tom Watson, the backbencher closely associated with exposing the phone-hacking scandal. He came in at number 20 after years of tireless campaigning finally came to fruition.
Apart from Watson, the most talked-about backbenchers include Nadine Dorries (41), David Laws (42), Douglas Carswell (43), Dominic Raab (45), Louise Mensch (46) and Priti Patel (49) — all of whom performed better than half of the shadow cabinet.