20 AUGUST 1881, Page 3

The Liberals have lost two county Members this week, in

the death of Mr. Joicey, M.P. for North Durham, and of Mr. Lay- cock, M.P. for North Lincolnshire. We ought to keep both seats, and to keep them by increased majorities. In North Durham, at the last election, Colonel joicey received 6,233 votes, while Sir George Elliot, the highest Conservative, whom the Conser- vatives have again, we believe, requested to represent them, obtained only 5,092, so that the Liberals had a majority of 1,141 votes. In North Lincolnshire, there was less Liberal margin, Mr. Laycock having polled 4,159 votes, against 3,949 given for Mr. Rowland Winn, Who was also returned. Here, then, there was only a majority of 210 votes. Nevertheless, the farmers know by this time that there is something of reality in the Liberal pledges to relieve agriculture of all its special disabilities, and to secure for the tenant-farmer his just rights ; and we sus- pect, therefore, that it will be in the more strictly agricultural counties that the Liberal gain will show itself. The Govern- ment which has passed the Irish Land Bill will not be dis- trusted by tenant-farmers.