29 MARCH 1884, Page 13


(To THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR:1 61/4—In your issue of Saturday, founding your comments on the result of the Cambridgeshire election on the figures given in the Times of the previous day, you make the ease appear, as regards the Liberal Party in the country, worse than it really is. The votes, as declared by the High Sheriff; were,—for Thornhill, 3,815; for Coote, 2,912; majority, 903 (not 3,915, 2,812, and 1,103). It follows from this correction that, while

the total number of voters on the Register has increased since 1868 from 9,561 to just over 10,000, the Conservative vote on this occasion has been 183 less than that recorded in 1868, and the Liberal vote has decreased 388.

It seems probable that at least as many, andI am-inclined to think more, Liberals abstained from voting than Conservatives, and in any case the figures show very little change in the posi- tion of parties. The strong feeling in favour of Protection which exists amongst the farmers in this constituency, especi- ally in the Fens, has certainly done good service to the Con- servative candidate; while, on the Liberal side, the abstentions have been chiefly due to the Bradlaugh question, and the doubt, which is very prevalent, as to the wisdom of the Government policy in Egypt.

Farmers, no doubt, dislike the proposal for the extension of the suffrage ; but the Conservative candidate did not, as far as I am aware, make any political capital out of this feeling. Neither party gave the question any particular prominence during the contest, at all events as far as speeches are con-