Party News: Readers Survey Results
If the 245 who replied to the questionnaire in the August issue are representative of Socialist Standard readers generally, then our most popular regular feature is “Sting in the Tail”, all but 16 percent of you like the front covers and 83 percent think the price is about right.
The main topics that the largest number of you think do not get enough coverage are music, women’s issues, longer analytical articles and Marxist theory. On the other hand, you think we give too much space to leftwing parties. Russia and Eastern Europe and British politics.
Seventy per cent get your Socialist Standard through subscription, 12 percent from a street seller or at a meeting, 7 percent from a bookshop or newsagent, while 8 percent received a free copy from our publicity department at Head Office. Two, in a practice we wouldn’t recommend, extracted the questionnaire from the copy in their local library. Over half said more than one person read their copy, so we can conclude that our readership is at least 50 percent higher than our sales.
There is a massive imbalance between men and women, with only 7 percent of you being women. Otherwise, all age groups arc represented in proportions not too different from the general population. The same goes for where you live, with 24 percent in London and 13 percent in the rest of the South East and 11 percent in the Northwest. Five percent live overseas.
Your political and reading habits contained some surprises: 22 percent of you voted Labour in the last election, while the most-read other magazine is Socialist Worker (11 percent). Besides the 22 percent who voted Labour, 41 percent of you wrote “ socialism” or something similar on your ballot paper; 27 percent didn’t vote. More voted for the Liberal Democrats (7) than voted for the Green Party (6).
Fifty-nine percent of you are not members of any political party. 29 percent are in the Socialist Party, 4 percent in the Labour Party and 7 percent in various other parties. Thirty-eight percent are trade union members, 10 percent are in some environmental group like Friends of the Earth and 7 percent in Amnesty International or some other human rights group.
The most-read national daily newspapers are the Guardian (41 percent), the Independent (20 percent) and the Daily Mirror (11 percent). On Sunday 26 percent of you read the Observer and 11 percent the Independent on Sunday. Ten percent confessed to reading a Tory tabloid on weekdays and 7 percent on Sundays.
As to other magazines, after Socialist Worker come other trotskyist and Leninist journals (9 percent), Private Eye (7 percent), the New Statesman (6 percent) and anarchist journals (5 percent).