Independent backs Lib Dems and electoral reform

The Independent today, like The Guardian, urged its readers to use their vote tactically against the Conservatives in order to secure future electoral reform.

It said in a front-page leader: “It is time to use our voting system to (for what we fervently hope will be the last occasion) change the system and deliver a new politics.”

The paper suggests that ‘progressively minded voters’should support the Liberal Democrats in seats they can win, and Labour elsewhere. The Observer has also backed the Liberal Democrats.

Relaunching the newspaper last month editor Simon Kelner said: “…what is most needed in the media lanscape is a newspaper that is truly free of proprietorial influence and political affiliation (something no other newspaper can claim)…” But evidently that pledge did not stop the paper from making a political stand today.

The Independent has been handing out 300,000 copies of a free edition of the paper throughout the campaign – but today urged readers to sign up for a paid-for subscription after the campaign as finished.

The Daily Mail today used its front page to argue the opposite position of The Independent – warning that a hung parliament would be a disaster for the economy and so urging its readers to vote for David Cameron and the Conservatives. The Mail has backed the Tories at every election since the Second World War.

While admitting that it ‘had its doubts’about David Cameron the Mail states: ‘David Cameron is the best and perhaps the only hope on offer for Britain.”

The Daily Telegraph, another newspaper which has supported the Conservatives at every election since 1945, said today in a leader: ‘Only a Conservative government can restore the nation’s fortunes. In David Cameron, they have a leader with the right stuff.”

The Daily Express also urged its readers to vote Conservative with a front page editorial today. It said: “David Cameron has decisively won the case for change. But he needs a clear mandate. So the Daily Express urges readers to vote Conservative tomorrow. The future of our nation is at stake.”

The Daily Mirror is the only national newspaper which is backing Labour – but even it has suggested that its readers should vote tactically for the Liberal Democrats in Lib Dem/Tory marginals.

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