The launch of GB News in the summer of 2021 was the biggest shake-up of the British TV news media market since the launch of Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News in 1989. 

The channel has endured its share of controversies: From the acrimonious exit of its first Chairman, Andrew Neil, just months after it launched; to the sackings of presenters such as Dan Wooton and Laurence Fox; to the Ofcom investigations into potential breaches of impartiality.

But having weathered these storms, the channel now occupies an important niche in the media landscape in Britain, particularly on the conservative centre-right. It has seen off its better budgeted rival, Talk TV, and in recent filings to companies house revealed it was reaching an average of 2.7 million viewers per month in the year ending May 2023, up 17.8% on the figures from the year before.

So, who watches GB News?

To answer this, and other, questions, we at Redfield & Wilton Strategies recently asked a representative sample of 4,000 voters across Great Britain about their media consumption habits.

For starters, 10% of the total sample name GB News as one of the television news channels that they would typically use for news. That places the channel ahead of international competitors like RT (1%), CNN International (5%), and Al Jazeera (6%), but behind domestic competitors, including Sky (29%), ITV (40%), and the BBC (62%).

When drilling deeper into the numbers to see the make-up of GB News viewership, we find that, when broken down by gender, men account for 62% of those who say they typically use the station for news, while women make-up 38% of those who typically watch the channel.

When broken down by age, the figures show that 47% of those who say they typically use GB News are aged either 55-64 (21%) or 65+ (26%), while only 9% of those who typically use the channel are aged 18-24.

In terms of regional variation, 16% of those who say they typically use GB News for news are based in London, 15% in the North West and 14% in the West Midlands.

A further 12% live in the South East of England.

When broken down by how they voted in the last General Election, 51% of those who say they typically use GB News for news voted Conservative at the last General Election, while 22% voted for Labour.

A further 12% of those who typically use GB News did not vote in the 2019 General Election.

Looking ahead to the coming General Election, 38% of those who typically use GB News now intend to vote for Reform UK at the next election, making it the most popular party among GB News viewers. 25% of this cohort are likely to vote Conservative at the next election and 17% for Labour.

The 2016 referendum on EU membership provides another clear indicator of the character of GB News’ viewership.

63% of those who typically use the channel for news voted to Leave in 2016, while 26% voted Remain

A further 11% did not vote in 2016.

When broken down by self-declared social class, 51% of those who name GB News as a channel they typically use for news say they are working class

41% say they are middle class and an additional 5% say they are upper class. Those figures are in-line with each cohort’s share of the overall population. 

58% of those who typically use GB News for news say they own their own home. 33% live in rented accommodation, and 7% live in their family home.

Among those who typically use GB News and who say they own their own home, 55% had a mortgage which they have paid off, 26% have a mortgage which they are currently paying off, and 19% have never had a mortgage on their home.

Other social barometers provide interesting insights into the nature of GB News viewership.

32% of those who say they typically use GB News enjoy beer as their alcoholic drink of choice, while 27% prefer wine.  A further 13% are spirit drinkers.

Among those who pick beer as their alcoholic drink of choice, 59% name Lager as their beer type of choice, against 33% who pick ale, and 7% stout. 

Respondents who say they typically use GB News for news are more likely than members of the overall population to class themselves as football fans.

While 33% of the overall population say they are ‘absolutely’ a football fan, that number rises to 47% among those who typically watch GB News. 27% of Britons say they are ‘somewhat’ football fans, against 29% of those who typically use GB News.

And while 40% of Britons answer ‘No, not at all’ when asked if they consider themselves a football fan, that number falls to 24% among those who typically watch GB News.

Finally, GB News viewers are far more likely to be fans of Marmite than the overall population.

While a majority (53%) of Britons say they do not like marmite, against 38% who say they do, a plurality of those who typically watch GB News (49%) say they are fans of the savoury spread, against 39% of this group who say they are not.

In summary, our findings are that those most likely to be GB news viewers are men; those aged 55 and older; and living in London or the North-East or West Midlands of England. 

Those who voted in Leave in 2016 are also more likely to be GB News viewers, as are those who intend to vote Reform at the next election, although more liberal and left-leaning voters also watch the channel.

GB News viewers tend to also be working class, are more likely to be beer drinkers than non-beer drinks, and are more likely to declare themselves to be football fans than the general population of Britain.

To find out more information about this research contact our research team. Redfield & Wilton Strategies is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Follow us on Twitter

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