Sunday, January 15, 2017

"Only the Liberal Democrats are enjoying the voters' verdict right now" - Journal

Journal leader 14 Jan 17

For the second time in a week, it was a joy to read the Journal, the North East's morning newspaper. At the start of the week, its front page was a story provided by the Lib Dems on the pressure on the NHS. Yesterday, the Journal reported on the Sandhill by-election result in Sunderland where, on Thursday, the Lib Dems went from 4% and 4th place to win the seat from Labour in a by-election with 45% of the vote.

The Journal could have been dismissive of the Lib Dems. The newspaper could have buried the result away with little comment. But in what could possibly be a sign of the times, the normally Labour-backing Journal has given us some stonking great lines in an editorial, in addition to a lead news article that focused heavily on the youthful Lib Dem campaigners winning over the people and giving Labour a serious mauling.

Here are a few of the quotes from the editorial:

"...the victory by Liberal Democrat Stephen O'Brien in Sunderland's Sandhill ward on Thursday was a stunner."

"...a protest vote against Labour was always possible. However, the scale of it was quite something."

"Only the Liberal Democrats are enjoying the voters' verdict right now."

And on UKIP (remember Sunderland is the Brexit capital of Britain and in the last election in Sandhill, the Kippers came a relatively good second) the Journal said:

"If there is going to be a protest vote in Sunderland....why did it not favour [UKIP]? More evidence that the Kippers just do not perform well enough in first-past-the-post elections."

So, time to enjoy the headlines and media coverage but the hard work continues. Talking of which, I'm about to head to Ryton ward in Gateshead to help deliver our next Focus.

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