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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 November, 2004, 07:43 GMT
Pictures tell the election story

The political leanings of Thursday's papers are obvious without reading a word; the photographs do the work.

In the Independent, US President George Bush appears grinning amid a montage of images of Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse, troops in Iraq and Guantanamo detainees.

The Daily Mirror's front page is given over to an unflattering close-up of the president, mouth open, hand to head.

And just In case anyone missed the point, the caption reads "Doh! Four more years of Dubya".

Positive portrait

The Guardian's main photo has Mr Bush under a giant letter W, wearing what might be described as a self-satisfied smirk.

The Daily Telegraph opts for a more positive portrait of Mr Bush saluting with one hand while the other clasps the hand his smiling wife, Laura.

The Daily Mail goes for the whole family group, with the delighted Bushes celebrating alongside their daughters.

Tellingly, photographs of John Kerry appear on just two front pages.

Celebratory right

In the Times, Mr Kerry is pictured standing dejected, chin on chest, juxtaposed with a thrilled Mr Bush, giving yet another thumbs-up.

The contrast between the two men sums up the different moods of the papers - those on the right are celebratory.

The Sun typifies this, telling readers that the world is a safer place with Mr Bush back in the Oval Office.

In contrast, the Daily Express urges Prime Minister Tony Blair not to follow Mr Bush in any further Middle East adventures.

Redundant lawyers

Whether for Mr Bush, or against him, the papers agree his victory was decisive despite much pre-election speculation that this would not be the case.

They all point out that the armies of lawyers recruited by both sides were, in the event, redundant.

The Telegraph's cartoonist Matt depicts a forlorn-looking man sobbing into his beer at a bar.

The barman is shown explaining to another customer that the man is not a Democrat but a lawyer.




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