The editor of the Scottish edition of tabloid newspaper The Sun has said he will not be offering his backing to David Cameron’s Conservative Party.
The decision follows the declaration of support for the Conservatives, published by the newspaper's main edition, after twelve years of backing the Labour Party.
The Sun's political editor George Pascoe-Watson said Mr Brown had, "failed to convince us he was the right man for the country", whereas David Cameron boasted, "the energy, the drive, and the ideas” to turn the country around.
However, Scottish Sun editor David Dinsmore said that although Labour was no longer convincing enough to warrant the paper’s support, David Cameron must prove his party is committed to improving the lives of Scots.
He said: "The big question is, what is David Cameron going to do for Scotland? I think we need to hear about what he is going to do for the economy up here, what he is going to do about the constitutional question."
Dinsmore also commented that as his paper was in support of the union between Scotland and the rest of Britain, it was unlikely they would ever back the SNP.
Annabel Goldie, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, welcomed The Scottish Sun’s move, saying: "The Scottish Sun wants change. The British General Election is a chance for all of Britain to vote for change. Only two parties can form the next British Government - a tired and failing Labour Party, or a fresh and rejuvenated Conservative Party under David Cameron.”
Nigel Griffiths, Labour MP for Edinburgh South, also welcomed the Scottish edition's move, saying: "The decision of The Scottish Sun not to support the Tories demonstrates that the Tories are as unpopular as ever with readers in Scotland. This was a pragmatic decision by The Scottish Sun, who know that supporting the Conservative Party in Scotland would cause them to lose readers.”
The Daily Record, a Labour-loyal Scottish tabloid, mounted an attack on the main edition of The Sun, saying that they have “more faces than a town hall clock”. In an editorial published the morning following The Sun’s ‘Labour’s Lost It’ announcement, The Record said that they had “stood shoulder to shoulder” with the Labour Party from “the dark days of the 80s” to “the difficulties of the noughties” and concluded: “We are still there because friends are friends for life.”
John Curtice, Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde told The Journal that the impact of The Sun’s announcement on voters had been exaggerated. He commented: “Newspaper partisanship has ‘small effects’ on long-term readers but you must remember that there are always newspapers on both sides of the party political arena, which cancel each other out.”
He continued: “People are fickle with their newspaper readership and will stop buying a publication if they don’t like what they’re reading. The Sun’s readership is not out of sync with the UK population: Rupert Murdoch has made a commercial decision to follow the mood, as he did in 1997 when supporting Labour. It does not make commercial sense for The Scottish Sun to back [the Conservative Party] as they are not as popular in Scotland as in England and Wales.”
“Whereas the MP expenses scandal in the Daily Telegraph changed the political agenda, the impact of this is only that it has become a major media news story. The supposed power of the Sun’s changing political support is legendary; however it is merely a barometer. A barometer doesn’t cause the change, it merely reads it.”