28 DECEMBER 1878, Page 3

The death of Colonel J. Duff creates a vacancy for

North Nor- folk, and the election there will probably be a most important test of county opinion. At the last contest, in 1876, Sir T. F. Buxton was only beaten by a vote of 2,302 to 2,192, a majority of only 110. It is understood that the seat will again be contested by the Liberals, and the struggle will bring out the true opinion of the farmers upon Lord Beaconsfield's policy. There are very few counties in which opinion runs so close, and the result should indicate almost precisely the extent to which the Ministry have gained or lost in popularity in the doubtful counties. If they have lost heavily, the great pendulum may possibly swing back at the General Election with unexpected force and decision, but that is scarcely probable.