If the opinion polls have got it right, David Cameron will be deprived of an overall majority at best, squeezed out of the post-election coalition carve up, at worst. Either way, it will prove a huge blow for Rupert Murdoch whose Sun newspaper ditched Labour last autumn in favour of Cameron’s Conservatives.
Murdoch has a reputation for backing winners. But his touch has deserted him before. Most recently in 2008 when his New York Post endorsed John McCain rather than his presidential rival – and eventual President – Barack Obama.
I was reminded of this fact when editing a piece for the forthcoming New Statesman by Peter Wilby this morning. (Wilby’s analysis of the Sun and Daily Mail during this British election season is well worth looking out for.)
The New York Post editorial from 8 September 2008 is well worth looking at too, especially this on McCain’s running mate:
McCain has been in Washington for many years now, but he is not of Washington. He knows where the levers of power are located – and how to manipulate them – but he is not controlled by them.
McCain’s selection of the charming, but rock-solid, outsider Sarah Palin as his running mate underscores the point.