1 JUNE 1844, Page 1

Several Parliamentary elections have been performed this week. 'he reelections

of Sir THOMAS FREMANTLE for Buckingham and of Lord ARTHUR LENNOX for Chichester were matters of course. The result of the contest in South Lancashire was looked to with great solicitude. It was expected to run very close ; but whether the agricultural Protectionist and Conservative portions of the di- vision or the urban Free-trade and Liberal party would gain the small disposable majority, none could tell. The Free-traders talked -with most confidence; but, now it appears, they dissembled most doubts. If the contest is remarkable for the smallness of the ma- jority, considering the strong interests at work, it is no less remark- able for the absence of any very determined antagonism in the can- didates actually selected as champions to fight the battle. Mr. WILLIAM BROWN is a sturdy Free-trader, but in politics he may be called a Conservative Whig ; Mr. ENTWISLE, the candidate elected, is a Peel-Conservative Free-trader. The difference between the professed opinions of the two is not striking; and if one were to look to probable results, the chances might almost seem to be in favour of Mr. ENTWISLE'S being the better Free-trader. Mr. BROWN, no doubt, wishes very strenuously on that head ; but then he must have acted with the Whigs, and the practical result of his vote must have been the Whig measure of free trade. Mr. ENTWISLE sup- ports Sir ROBERT PEEL, who has promised less, but has actually given more free trade than the Whigs. It has been truly remarked, that, regarded as a whole, the election indicates a decided advance in Free-trade opinions: South Lancashire comes up to the Peel level, with a very large minority that goes as far as the League. Many, however, not of nice discrimination, judge solely by the broad fact of success or failure ; and the League has been defeated. The defeat is aggravated by the confident tone assumed previously, and by the indiscreet proclamation that South Lancashire was a place in which failure would be fatal. There must be reasons for defeat ; and the sensible thing would be, instead of trying that impossible task the attempt to talk the upshot out of people's memory, to die- cover what was the real cause of defeat. Was it that the people really are not in favour of Corn-law Repeal ? If so, the people have a full right to adopt a restrictive corn-law, however senseless it may seem to Mr. COBDEN'S friends, or however unwise in reality ; and the League must only bow to the popular decision. Or has the question not really been submitted to the people ? Is the electoral body at issue with the real people ? constituting a " false medium" that bars access to a true " appeal to the nation"? If so, there is, as Chartists and others say, some anterior process to be performed before repeal of the Corn-laws can be effectively dis- cussed. Or is it merely that the appeal has not been properly made ? Are the method and machinery of the League the best for its purpose ? Its very successes cast a doubt : where Mr. COBDEN himself has been the foremost and almost sole organ of the body, his success has been signal—he has triumphed where others failed; which suggests a doubt whether others, not possessing his earnest- ness and his tact, may not mar where he alone would make. When- ever agitation is made a business, those who adopt it for its emolu- ments and turn it into a profession are apt to bring appearances of spurious zeal and unreality upon " the cause "—" cant " it gets to be called when it is solemn, " humbug " when it is more gay and mundane. Failure should suggest to those who have " free trade' at heart for its own sake, to revise their methods, in order to im- provement and a more speedy attainment of their ends. The Kilmarnock election furnishes a sort of commentary on the other contest. A Free-trader is succeeded by a Free-trader, Mr. BOUVERIE—a Liberal by a Liberal. Here too the candidate that stood in the place of the once "Tory" party, Mr. PAINSEP, was a Peel-Conservative : moderation is the order of the day with the constituencies, and they oscillate a little towards the Whig or Con- servative aide of the juste milieu, almost as whim directs; the Con- servative upon the whole having the preponderancy. The show of hands is a sort of farce ; but still the immense majority of hands held up at Kilmarnock for Mr. VINCENT reminds us again that the enfranchised and non-enfranchised classes are at issue.