24 JANUARY 1891, Page 1


WE have lost the Hartlepool election by a majority of 298 against n a. Sir William Gray polled 4,305 votes, against 4,603 given to Mr. Furness, the Gladstonian candidate. The result shows that the Gladstonians have pulled up rather more than half what they lost in 1886, but that they are by no means as powerful as they were in 1885, before the break-up ,of the Liberal Party. As Durham is one of the most Glad- -stonian counties in England7that is not, on the whole, a very triumphant result for the Gladstonians ; but we lose a seat by it, and they gain one. The Socialist or Jacobin element in the election was very marked, Mr. Furness having, it is said, promised not to employ non-Union men again in his ships, and having proposed to find pensions for old paupers out of an 'enormously increased land-tax. Nothing, however, seems to us so curious as the tendency to equality between the two parties. 'One would suppose that what is deemed the popular party would win by very much larger majorities when it wins at all ; but this is not so. In other words, both parties are popular parties ; and even with our democratic Constitution, the so- called popular party is hardly perceptibly more popular than the so-called Conservative party. In a poll of 8,908 votes, a balance of 298 either way,—in other words, a balance of about

per cent.,—is hardly visible. Whatever is doubtful, the 'existence in large masses of the working man who sticks by preference to the old traditions is certainly not doubtful.