The Sun refuses to back the Tories, says ‘Vote local’ (Aka: The Sun hedges its bets)

by Stephen Tall on May 2, 2013

The Sun_Kinnock_1992Does what The Sun says matter?

In its own terms, of course not. Its own self-promoted myth that it was ‘The Sun wot won it’ for the Tories in 1992 with its anti-Kinnock front page belies the reality: it backs the party it thinks is most likely to win.

It’s in that narrow sense that it’s interesting The Sun has declined to back either the Tories or Labour today for the first time in its 44-year history:

Who you choose today must be a local decision, not a national one. Read the leaflets. Listen to what all the actual candidates are telling you, and judge them individually. Did they deliver on their 2009 promises? Have they the right priorities for the next four years? Let them all win back our faith the hard way. One by one, from the bottom up.

Which, to be fair, is excellent advice. To put it another way…

The Sun (and by extension, its owner Rupert Murdoch) is hedging its bets. It’s not leading public opinion; it’s waiting to find out from the voters who they think it should endorse.

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum, and also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.