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Fictional Labour frontbencher better known than real ones, survey finds

22 Mar 2024 1 minute read
Shadow culture secretary Thangham Debbonaire. Photo by Richard Townshend is marked CC BY 3.0

A fictional Labour frontbencher is better known than many of the real ones in Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet, a survey has found.

Fiona Wilson was known to 47% of respondents to the survey, carried out by Portland Communications for Times Radio, with 15% feeling “favourable” towards her.

The only issue is, Fiona Wilson does not exist.


Invented by the survey, she was better known than real-life shadow culture secretary Thangham Debbonaire and shadow Cabinet Office minister Nick Thomas-Symonds.

Ms Wilson’s favourability rating also puts her ahead of some of the party’s biggest stars, including shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds.

While a fictional Conservative minister, Henry Thorpe, was better known than Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho.

Mr Thorpe also scored a net favourability rating of minus five, putting him in the top tier of real Tory ministers.

Gabriel Milland, partner at Portland Communications, said: “The baggage the Tories are carrying with them is very heavy indeed. A large part of the public are taking a massive dislike even to made-up Tory cabinet ministers.”

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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
25 days ago

Wow! This shows that the entirely disengaged from politics, (they are demonstrating it by believing in non existent people), might be well off enough to have been unaffected by the punitive actions of the Tories and be blissfully unaware of the countless scandals and persistent social injustice, will rock up at the polling station and vote for the incumbents. We’re doomed!

25 days ago

It still doesn’t top the fact that a lettuce is probably better known than Liz Truss and all current Tory government ministers, and would have done a better job not crashing the economy.

Last edited 25 days ago by Midge0

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