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Politicians pull out the God card

Leading politicians are increasingly using the God card to win over the electorate, a new report by Theos, the public theology think tank, shows today, writes Ruth Gledhill.

Labour has made the most use of “God talk”, with Conservatives next and Liberal Democrats trailing far behind in their use of religion to make political capital.

The analysis of conference speeches by party leaders over the past decade shows Britain increasingly following the lead set by the US in exploiting the religious sentiment of political believers.

Researchers found that over the ten years of party conferences, Labour’s leaders made 98 religious references compared with 65 for the Conservatives and 23 for the Liberal Democrats.

Tony Blair dominated the field with a total of 84 references, compared with David Cameron’s 25 and Iain Duncan-Smith’s 24.

On the basis of averages, however, it was Gordon Brown who most often played the religious card. Last year, when he referred to “the sermons my father preached Sunday after Sunday,” he made 14 religious references, compared with Blair’s average of 9.3 and Cameron’s 8.3.

Full story at The Times.

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