“No British election since 1979 has been as momentous as that which will be held on 7 May,” our leader declared, “The United Kingdom’s continued EU membership, the size and purpose of the state and the survival of the British Union are all at stake.”
How are the newspapers coming down in 2015? We first dismissed the mutual claims of the coalition parties:
“Having served a full term in government, the contention of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats is that they deserve to be rewarded for their record, the former by winning their first majority since John Major won more than 14 million votes in 1992 and the latter by acting as a moderating influence in another hung parliament. It is the coalition government’s erratic record, however, that provides the greatest evidence of why they should not be entrusted with power.”
Britain is a great country, one of the safest and most prosperous in the world. It has the potential, also, to become a more equal and more democratic country in the next five years. The best means of fulfilling these hopes is to return a Labour government on 7 May.”
The Financial Times took a different view of the coalition’s record in office:
Five years ago, the prospect of coalition government attracted dire predictions of instability in markets and gridlock at Westminster. Neither proved true. The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition has shown European-style cohabitation can work.
Ed Miliband’s focus on inequality, so crucial to our continuing support, seemed more of a bug than a feature as far as the FT was concerned. Miliband has “rarely met a market he did not consider broken. As such, they endorsed the continuation of the present coalition, although they came down more heavily on the side of the Liberal Democrats than the Conservatives:
Only Nick Clegg, the embattled Liberal Democrat leader, has occupied the centre ground. He has argued persuasively that the Lib Dems contributed to sensible fiscal consolidation and tempered the wilder Tory impulses, particularly on Europe.”
The Economist, in contrast, while endorsing the present government, had a slightly heavier Conservative accent:
On May 7th voters must weigh the certainty of economic damage under Labour against the possibility of a costly EU exit under the Tories. With Labour, the likely partnership with the SNP increases the risk. For the Tories, a coalition with the Lib Dems would reduce it. On that calculus, the best hope for Britain is with a continuation of a Conservative-led coalition.”
The Sun took an even more jaundiced view of Labour, declaring that “a week today, Britain could be plunged into the abyss”. They added: “A fragile left-wing Labour minority, led by Ed Miliband and his union paymasters and supported by the wreckers of the Scottish National Party, could take power.” The only solution? Vote Conservative.
Apart from in Scotland, where they endorsed the SNP.