Friday, June 11, 2004

British Elections

NICK ASSINDER BBC - Tony Blair will search long and hard to find any real comfort to ease his party's humiliation in the local elections. As deputy prime minister John Prescott confessed, Labour was given a serious kicking by voters who delivered it the worst election result in living memory. Only the most pessimistic had believed the party would be pitched into third place behind the Liberal Democrats and the Tories - the first time a governing party has suffered that fate.

They knew that Iraq, amongst other things, was going to hit them hard, but most had hoped it would not be this bad. . . And it has almost certainly left Tony Blair facing the real prospect that his leadership will now be a matter of serious debate amongst Labour MPs as they consider the consequences for their own seats in a general election. . .

The Liberal Democrats needed to build on their previous election advances and show they could take votes from both the other main parties. And they appear to have done that. The smaller parties, including the UK Independence Party and the Greens also improved their performance as voters expressed their protest at the government and, most probably believe, Mr Blair himself.

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