Archive for 27 April, 2010

Historic newspaper endorsements

Here, copied from LabourList, is a summary of the endorsements Britain’s daily newspapers have given before each of the post-war elections.

Which party they’ll each case will not in most cases be a big surprise, though it will interest which endorsements the Lib Dems will manage to get. The Independent seems likely to endorse them, The Guardian may withhold that honour given Clegg’s recent talk of a post-election arrangement with the Tories, however ridiculous it would be to prop Labour up under such circumstances.

For those interested, here are the endorsements The Economist gave:


1955 C
1959 C
1964 L
1966 C
1970 C
Feb. 1974 C
Oct. 1974 C
1979 C
1983 C
1987 C
1992 C
1997 C
2001 L
2005 L

In 1992, The Economist endorsed John Major’s Conservative Party on the grounds that, “Mr Ashdown’s best long-term hope for a Liberal revival lies in overturning the past 92 years, so that the Labour Party and the Liberals rejoin each other. For that to happen, Labour must lose this election, and the bigger its loss the better. And that, given the depressing state of British politics, is the best reason for wanting the Conservatives to win next week.” I’m curious what extent the best long-term hopes for a Liberal revival will play in the endorsement they’ll offer in Friday’s issue.


The election in Northern Ireland

Of the eighteen seats in Northern Ireland, fourteen are unlikely to change hands. At the moment, the DUP hold 9 seats, Sinn Féin hold 5, the SDLP 3 and one seat is held by the Independent Sylvia Hermon, who was elected in 2005 as an Ulster Unionist. It will be an interesting election to watch from a few perspectives. Will UUP, now standing under the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists – New Force banner make any gains? Will Unionist voters be more convinced of the benefit of supporting a likely government party or an unaligned party? Can the SDLP hold their own under their new leader Margaret Ritchie? Will the DUP and Sinn Féin face an ebb in their increased support since 2001?

I would count the following thirteen as safe seats:

  • Antrim East, to be held by the DUP’s Sammy Wilson
  • Antrim North, currently held by former DUP leader Rev. Ian Paisley, who will most like likely be succeeded by his son, Ian Paisley, Jr.
  • Belfast East, to be held by First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson
  • Belfast North, to be held by DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds
  • Belfast West, to be held by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams
  • Down North, to be held by Independent Sylvia Hermon
  • Down South, currently held by the SDLP’s Eddie McGrady, to be succeeded by the new party leader, Margaret Ritchie
  • Foyle, to be held by former SDLP leader Mark Durkan
  • Lagan Valley, to be held by the DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson
  • Londonderry East, to be held the DUP’s Gregory Campbell
  • Newry–Armagh, to be held by Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy
  • Tyrone West, to be held by Sinn Féin’s Pat Doherty
  • Ulster Mid, to be held by deputy First Minister Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness

Leaving the following five, the first three fights between Unionists, the remaining two between Unionists and sitting nationalists:

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