British tabloid’s Obama gimmick is nothing new

The Sun, a Murdoch paper, has a history of trying to swing elections at the last minute

Topics: Media Criticism, War Room, Gordon Brown,

It’s election day in Britain, and maybe you’ve already seen the front page of The Sun, the Murdoch-owned tabloid:

This kind of front page politicking isn’t uncomon in the British press (or in some American newspapers, like the Manchester (NH) Union-Leader, which has been known to offer front-page editorials on election days). But with today’s Obama/David Cameron cover, the pro-Tory paper seems to be trying to replicate one if its most famous (supposed) achievements.

It was back in 1992 when, after 13 years of rule, the Conservatives seemed certain to lose to Neil Kinnock’s Labour Party. (Yes, that Neil Kinnock.)

Voter fatigue with the Tories was high, Prime Minister John Major (who had succeeded Margaret Thatcher less than two years earlier) hadn’t connected with the public, and polls had shown a steady Labour lead for years. But, after battering Kinnock and Labour for weeks, The Sun came through with this memorable front page on the day of the election:



Amazingly, Major and the Conservatives won the election. Whether the Sun’s front-page had anything to do with it is anyone’s guess. But the paper had no trouble claiming credit, with this famous front page from two days after the vote:

Rest assured we’ll be seeing that front page replicated, too, if David Cameron and the Tories do win today.

Steve Kornacki

Steve Kornacki writes about politics for Salon. Reach him by email at SKornacki@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @SteveKornacki

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