A regional daily newspaper has taken the unusual step of backing a political party in the run-up to tomorrow’s general election.
While most national newspapers have declared their support for a particular party in this election, it is unusual for a regional title to do so because most want to be seen as politically neutral.
The Post declared its support for another five years of the coalition in an opinion piece published on Saturday.
Editor Jeremy Clifford told HTFP the the Post was traditionally a Conservative supporting newspaper and five years ago had lent its support to Mr Cameron.
He said: “We believe, five years on, the political climate has changed and that the Lib Dems have played a valuable moderating influence on the Government.
“We believe that it takes more than five years to make a difference to the fortunes of the country and there are signs that progress is being made.
“The coalition has been the most forceful in recognising issues such as transport, the northern powerhouse and business support, coming closest to endorsing our own Manifesto for Yorkshire.
“However, it was still subject to considerable debate as to whether we should endorse any party. We know our readers do not want to tell them what to think or how to vote, so we have not done so.
“But we also know our readers in Yorkshire expect us to be clear on issues and have opinions, it is part of what being Yorkshire is all about.”
The opinion piece said that the paper had five years ago challenged David Cameron and Nick Clegg to form Britain’s first coalition since the war.
The editorial said: “Now this newspaper has decided that the future interests of Yorkshire – and the rest of the United Kingdom – will be best served by a continuation of the status quo for a further five years: a Conservative-led administration, supported by the Liberal Democrats as a moderating force, so both parties can complete their mission to eradicate the deficit and build a stronger and more prosperous nation from the centre ground.
“This conclusion stems from a realisation that an outright majority, even by the narrowest of margins, will be beyond the reach of the Tories and Labour next Thursday.
“Mr Cameron’s chances have not been helped by Eurosceptics deserting his party in favour of Ukip while Ed Miliband, still in denial about the last Labour government’s dismal financial record, could easily find himself at the mercy of the insurgent Scottish National Party who seem intent on breaking up and bankrupting Britain in equal measure.
“Given this backdrop, it would be unwise to undo the significant progress that the coalition has made on cutting the deficit – still the defining issue of these times – since 2010.
“This was not an overnight job, it was always going to be a 10-year turnaround programme.”
The opinion piece acknowledged that the coalition had made mistakes but said reforms on education and welfare had been “far bolder” in many ways than those undertaken by single-party governments.
It added: “Having undertaken much of the heavy lifting, they have earned the right to complete their mission and create a pro-business society which rewards endeavour, enterprise and excellence across all sections of society, while showing compassion to the most vulnerable.
“Britain expects and deserves nothing less.”