Politics

The Sun Is Backing Different Parties In England And Scotland

The Sun and the Scottish Sun adopt very different positions in order to keep out Labour.

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The Sun has endorsed the Conservative party in its Thursday edition, calling on readers to vote for David Cameron's party to "stop [the] SNP running the country".

The Sun

In a strongly worded editorial the newspaper urges voters to stop Britain from being run by a fragile government "led by Ed Miliband and his union paymasters and supported by the wreckers of the Scottish National Party".

The paper explains the risks: "Every Ukip vote, especially in the South, brings a Labour/SNP nightmare closer by eroding Tory chances.

"You can stop this. But only by voting Tory."

In contrast, Thursday's Scottish Sun gives a full-blooded endorsement of Nicola Sturgeon's SNP.

Scottish Sun

In an equally strong editorial, the Scottish version of the paper says its readers have "a chance to use the Westminster system for their own advantage."

"If the Conservative Party ever understood Scotland, they don’t any more," it tells readers. "David Cameron and his Chipping Norton set look north with a mix of confusion and fear.

"Don’t buy this desperate 'vote SNP, get Tory' lie. If we send 50 anti-Tory MPs to London, why does it matter if only a handful are Labour this time?"

The newspaper appears to have expected accusations of hypocrisy.

It took the decision to publish both the editorials and front pages simultaneously online and immediately issued a statement explaining the difference in opinions.

A spokesperson for the newspaper said:

The Sun is written first and foremost for its readers, and the UK edition and Scottish edition have two very distinct audiences. If Scotland and England were playing each other at football, no one would expect The Scottish Sun to support the English national team.

But the real interest in the newspaper's decision is because of claims about the political views of Rupert Murdoch, who ultimately controls The Sun's parent company.

The Independent has claimed that Murdoch recently berated his journalists for "not doing enough to stop Labour winning the general election", while recent tweets from him have repeated similar messages to those of his newspapers.

Murdoch has been highly critical of Miliband's performances during the election:

UK debate. Great performances by SNP Sturgeon and UKIP Farage, Cameron sort of ok, Milliband not, Clegg pathetic. May not count in May.

No show Cameron only winner in UK debate as Scot Sturgeon clobbers Miliband and Farage stumbles.

But he also speculated on the future of the UK and suggested that Scottish independence is inevitable:

UK. Failure to win majority against either Brown in crisis or Miliband would mean chop for Cameron. Open talk today in party and press.

Scots may be crazy or not wanting self rule, but who can deny right of self determination? Feels inevitable over next few years.

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.

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