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I THE WRITING ON THE WALL.…

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I THE WRITING ON THE WALL. I During the present crowd of bye-electione the public arc being flooded with mural literature, but the plainest of all the writing on the wall is the message of doom to the Radical party. Ejection after election lias resulted either in the capture of a seat for the Opposition or in the reduction of the Radical majority to aJmost vanishing point. The achievement of Mr. Amery, the Unionist candidate, at the Wolver- hampton election, on Tuesday, when he came within eight votes of winning the seat, has struck dismay into the Radical camp. Wolverhampton is one of those places that are (Steeped in Radical traditions, that never have owc-d allegianoe to any other party, and for Mr. Amery to have polled only eight votes tJiort of his Radical opponent. is a feat of which any politician may be proud. The Unionist candi- date himself and the party generally, of courae, arc sorry that the nine additional votes were not secured, to ensure victory, but when the figures of the last election are recalled, it will be seen that the swing of the pendulum indeed has beeai prodigious here. The seat that two and a half years ago was heM by a Radical with a majority of 2,865, to-day can boast of a bare majority of eight. In that period the Radical I total vote has shrunk by 1,096, while the Unionist vote has increased by 1,761. After ttrs performance, who shall say that any Radical waft presents a forlorn hope to the Unionist party? Among the contributory' causes of the Government's waning popularity the Licensing Bill occupies a foremost position, while the rapidly increasing enthusiasm for Fiscal reform, especially in industrial centres, makes the Unionist position stronger day by day. Mr. Amery proclaimed himself a Fiscal reformer from the outset, and there is no deny- ling the fact that thiN attractive item of con- ?structii-,o policy is making enormous headway among all thinking people. It is instructive also to note, as Lord Newton points out in a letter to the "Times," that Mr. Amery had openly announced himself in favour of universal service for home defence. The large measure of support which Mr. Amery received at the polls shows clearly that tho. who say the electorate will have nothing to do with the I advocates of compulsory service are as far off the mark as thOl"e who preach the inviolability of Cobdenism.

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