UK’s Labour party loses support of two UK newspapers

* Times, Guardian desert Labour

* Economist backs Tories

By Kylie MacLellan

LONDON, April 30 (BestGrowthStock) – Two major British daily
newspapers have turned their backs on the ruling Labour party,
endorsing opposition parties in a blow to Prime Minister Gordon
Brown less than a week before a parliamentary election.

The Guardian newspaper, traditionally a staunch Labour
supporter, said it had switched its support to the Liberal
Democrats, perennially the third party in British politics,
because it was the best way to bring about electoral reform.

The Times said it was deserting Labour for the opposition
Conservatives, which it has not endorsed for 18 years, because
it supports their views on reducing the size of government and
acting sooner to cut a record public deficit, running at more
than 11 percent of GDP.

The Lib Dems “reflect and lead an overwhelming national mood
for real change”, the Guardian wrote in an editorial for
Saturday’s newspaper, published on their website on Friday.

“Invited to embrace five more years of a Labour government,
and of Gordon Brown as prime minister, it is hard to feel
enthusiasm,” it added.

The Liberal Democrats, who have enjoyed a strong ratings
boost since the first of three television leaders’ debates, have
long campaigned for proportional representation, an electoral
system well established across Europe.

Adjustments to Britain’s system of ‘first past the post’
voting in 650 localities, or constituencies, have made the
relationship between number of votes and number of parliamentary
seats more obscure — and strengthened the case for reform.

As the system stands, Labour can score fewer votes than the
Conservatives but still command more seats, a situation some
opinion polls have indicated could arise after a May 6 election.

Opinion polls consistently point to a hung parliament, in
which no one party wins an overall majority, putting Lib Dem
leader Clegg in a potenitally pivotal position. [ID:nUKPOLLS10]

But the Guardian included a caveat in its backing of Clegg’s
party, warning voters in Labour-Conservative marginal seats they
must weigh up the tactical option of supporting Labour to
prevent a Conservative win.

The newspaper, which last year argued Brown should step down
as prime minister, said the “humiliation” of a campaign gaffe
this week in which he was caught by a lapel microphone calling a
Labour supporter “bigoted” after she questioned him on
immigration, made it clear his party had made the wrong decision
in keeping him as leader.

The Times said that while the campaign had been
“electrified” by the rise of Nick Clegg, the Lib Dems had yet to
build a serious platform to prepare for government.

“The economy is broken and so is politics. It is time for
change, in both the philosophy and the style of government,” it
wrote in an editorial published on its website on Friday.

“David Cameron has shown the fortitude, judgement and
character to lead this country back to a healthier, stronger
future.”

On Thursday the influential Economist magazine switched its
support from Labour to endorsed the Conservatives, saying they
seemed the party most committed to reducing the size of the
public sector. [ID:nLDE63S209]

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UK’s Labour party loses support of two UK newspapers