By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter

David Davis is the backbench Tory MP who gets the most mentions in national newspapers. He had 494 mentions this year. This compares to 23,771 for David Cameron, for example, and 10,051 for George Osborne.

Screen shot 2011-12-30 at 14.03.25

Chris Grayling (707), Damian Green (695) and Grant Shapps (654) are the three most reported Tory ministers outside of the Cabinet.

The ten most featured backbenchers, five from the new intake, are…

  1. David Davis (494)
  2. John Whittingdale (423). Obviously Murdoch-related.
  3. Nadine Dorries (402)
  4. Douglas Carswell (371)
  5. Dom Raab (337)
  6. Louise Mensch (327)
  7. Priti Patel (309)
  8. John Redwood (308)
  9. Zac Goldsmith (239)
  10. Robert Halfon (226)

The analysis by Hanover Communications confirms Labour's struggle to win coverage. With the Lib Dems often providing a more interesting opposition to Tory policies there are only five Labour frontbenchers (including Ed Miliband himself) who feature in the visibility top fifty. The appearance of David Miliband at number 22 is not necessarily good news for his younger brother.

Gavin Megaw, Director at Hanover Communications, commented:

“Over eighteen months have now passed since the last election and it is clear the Labour party are struggling to achieve cut-through with voters. They simply cannot rely on the electorate losing faith with the coalition and must find more effective ways to get their message across through the media."

He continued:

"What this analysis also highlights is the rise of the independent backbench MP. With the advent of coalition government and parliamentary reforms, this is likely to be an alternative path than that which ambitious politicians have previously followed.”

There is more at Hanover here or please inspect the full data set (EXCEL SPREADSHEET).