Blair and Labour Get Bloody Nose In Election
May 4 (EIRNS)--With the final vote tallies by no means certain, it appears that outgoing Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party took it on the nose in Thursday's May 3rd election. Alex Salmond for the Scottish National Party--in an election marred by 10% spoilt ballots--has just claimed victory for his Party in a 47 seat SNP/46 seat Labour split for the 129 seat Scottish Parliament. But, it is unclear whether, lacking a clear majority, Salmond can form a government, since the Conservatives are the third largest party with 17 seats and the Liberal-Democrats fourth with 16. Since both these latter oppose Scottish independence, leading Liberal-Democrats have already rejected any coalition, if, it means a referendum on independence in four years.
Right now the incredible rate of spoilt ballots is being blamed on a new ballot combining Parliamentary with local council races, but it seems likely there will be an ongoing investigation by "full judicial inquiry," as Salmond put it.
In elections to the Welsh Assembly it appears that Labour won about 25 seats of the 31 needed to have an absolute majority in the 60 seat Assembly. Here, it is easier for Labour to turn to the Liberal-Democrats with restoration of the old Lib-Lab coalition returning as it had done in 2000-2003. Negotiations for horse trading have apparently already begun by Rhodri Morgan, the Labour First Minister.
Labour appears to have polled 27% to the 41% for the Conservative Party elections throughout Britain, some 14% points below the Tories. Consoling thoughts are being conveyed that this is one point higher than last year's local council result for Labour, but, it means that if General Elections were held now, the Tories would likely take the Majority by a good margin. Labour's most consistent big losses were in the Southeast, not the Midlands or Northwest that are more bellweather. Still, it appears that Labour may be finished as one London Insider put it after two years at most of Gordon Brown seceding Tony Blair.