15 MAY 1880, Page 1

In Conservative eyes, the Liberals just now can do nothing

right. Even the Standard is childishly irritated with the Devonshire Club for evincing its gratitude on Wednesday, by giving a banquet to those defeated Liberals who led the forlorn-hope in Westminster and Middlesex, and is betrayed by its irritation into making the supremely silly asser- tion that, in all probability, "the Liberal gain has been due to a combination of causes of the most ephemeral character." What especially angers the Standard is, that even where the Tories triumphed, and triumphed by a large majority, the Liberals should have succeeded in so greatly reducing the former Tory majority as to indulge hopes for the future. Such hopes the Standard evidently deems abso- lutely insulting to the remains of Tory power. Neverthe- less, the speakers at the Devonshire Club on Wednesday did show good reason for the hopes they indulged as to the future both in Westminster and Middlesex. Sir A. Hobliouse showed that in Westminster the Liberals had lost 400 votes off the Register by a "mere technicality," and that as regards the other 2,000 votes which they would have needed for success, they might have been gained, by good organisation, out of the 6,000 nnpolled votes ; while Mr. Herbert Gladstone showed that by the Middlesex canvas, undertaken without proper organisation, money, or any sufficient appliances, the Liberals had improved their vote, as compared with 1874, by 65 per cent., while the Liberal party in the country generally had only improved it by 35 per cent. These are solid grounds for the hopes indulged.