Fictional Labour frontbencher better known than real ones, survey finds

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.

CBI conference
Wilson’s favourability rating also puts her ahead of some of the party’s biggest stars, including shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds (Aaron Chown/PA)

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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