Fraser Nelson

The papers lag behind

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If you want to know why blogs have the edge over newspapers on election night, take a look at tomorrow’s newspapers. I’ve just finished reviewing them on Sky News alongside Roger Alton, the Spectator’s sports columnist (other job: editor-in-waiting of The Independent). Knowing nothing, what can the papers do? Only The Sun predicts a big Tory win. The others have chosen disposable stories destined for the spike. The Mail has gone on drunken kids, the Telegraph has lifted an old trade mag story about Chinese submarine bases, the Indy on an obscure poll revealing that folk don’t like green taxes.

Truth is, things won’t be much clearer by the times their London editions go to bed at 3am – and these newspapers won’t have much to tell us save for the BBC exit poll and a handful of councils. We won’t get the first count of the London mayoral elections until 3pm and the final result until 5pm. The poor Evening Standard won't have anything until Monday – all it can do is take a punt on Boris, as ConservativeHome.com has. Tim Montgomerie, its editor, has staked his considerable reputation – and that of his website – on Boris winning. A bold move in an election which people consider too close to call. A few people I’ve spoken to about this have tut-tutted and said: so what? What does a blogger know? A good deal more than the newspapers in this case, at any rate.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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