10 APRIL 1880, Page 1

The Farmers are evidently finding out their friends. The Liberals

are no longer rejected in the counties as if they were enemies of agriculture, and in many places Liberal representa- tives of the tenants have been returned. In Bedfordshire, Mr. James Howard, the Chairman of the Farmers' Alliance, was returned at the bead of the poll, though the Russells at first looked coldly on him ; and in East Essex, a county steeped in Conservatism, Mr. Page Wood, a tenant who declared open war on the landlords' ascendancy, was only just defeated. In Suffolk, Mr. Bidden was not even opposed, and Mr. Duckham, the tenant representative returned for Herefordshire, carried the seat without canvassing, or hiring carriages, or seeking support from the more aristo- cratic Liberals. The most singular sign, however, is the overthrow of Mr. Clare Read, who found himself bracketed with Mr. Gurdon, and ultimately, on scrutiny of the voting. papers, lost the seat by one. Hundreds of farmers must have deserted him, to vote for a representative just as deeply pledged to the tenants, but a Liberal. We believe the victory in the counties to be due as much to Lord Hartington's pledge of Land Reform, as to dislike of Lord Beaconsfield's policy and of the useless Agricultural Holdings Act.