View Full Version : Blair wins a third term

05-05-2005, 06:54 PM
Exit polls: Blair wins third term
Beth Gardiner, Associated Press
May 5, 2005 BRIT0506

LONDON - Tony Blair's Labour Party won an unprecedented third term in office but with a sharply reduced majority in Parliament that could set the stage for Blair to be replaced by a party rival, according to exit poll projections broadcast as vote counting began in Britain's national election Thursday.

With a 66-seat majority Blair could face difficulties controlling a faction of his party deeply disillusioned with his leadership, especially over the war in Iraq, and ready for a new prime minister such as Treasury chief Gordon Brown.

The BBC projected that Labour would win with 37 percent of the popular vote, the lowest winning share ever. The Conservatives, showing their first signs of life since losing power eight years ago, were projected to take 33 percent.

The BBC and ITV projections, based on a survey of 13,000 or more voters in 115 closely contested districts, suggested Labour would win 356 seats, ahead of the Conservatives with 209. The Liberal Democrats, the only major party to oppose the Iraq war, were projected to win 53 seats for them a disappointing gain of two seats.

The projected victory was a comedown for Blair following landslides in 1997 and 2001. In the previous House of Commons, Labour had 161 more seats than the combined opposition.

Such a result matched the "bloody nose'' a humiliation but not a defeat that opponents had hoped to administer to the prime minister who took Britain into the divisive war in Iraq.

The government's strong economic record appears to have outweighed those resentments and help Labour secure a third term a first for the party.

William Jones, a political analyst at Manchester University, said a 66-margin would make governing difficult for Blair.

"Anything under 100 he is in for a tough time,'' Jones said. "Under 50 he will be in terrible difficulties I think we will see him disappear very quickly.''

Geoff Andrews, a political analyst at the Open University, said a group of about 50 rebellious lawmakers within the Labour Party could exercise greater influence.

"If Blair's majority falls below 60 then you are in an area where an organized minority would have a strong bargaining power.''

Counting in 645 Parliamentary districts was continuing through the night, and the winner would not be officially confirmed at least until Friday morning.

"There is going to be a Labour government, There is no doubt about that,'' Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott told the BBC. "I'm a little suspicious that it will be as low as you are suggesting.''

05-05-2005, 09:39 PM
Amazing to win a 3rd term. Just incredibly difficult. At some point, the voters are tired of you, have heard everything you have to say, and want something fresh. Even if that fresh voice is saying the same things essentially.

Good for Blair. I doubt he makes it thru a third term unscathed. It's tough in any democracy for one person to hold onto power for that long. I feel the same way about John Howard in Australia, although he had an easier re-election win than Blair did.

Three straight anglosphere re-election of leaders who were portrayed in the media as unpopular. An interesting dynamic indeed.

05-05-2005, 09:56 PM
Three straight anglosphere re-election of leaders who were portrayed in the media as unpopular. An interesting dynamic indeed.
You usually can't beat somebody with nobody. Even if an incumbent is relatively unpopular, the opposition still usually needs to come up with a halfway attractive alternative if it wants to win. This is one reason why polls showing an incumbent to have a low approval rating do not necessarily guarantee the defeat of the incumbent.

05-05-2005, 10:09 PM

05-05-2005, 10:11 PM
The Guardian's probably not the most unbias place for political cartoons there Mutaman ;)

05-05-2005, 10:54 PM
First of all, it's not officially over, thus here are the current results. I've also included some interesting observations from what I've read.


324 seats needed to win
LAB 302
CON 110
LD 38
461 of 646 seats declared

In the first seat to change hands, the Conservatives take Putney from Labour. They later take Newbury from the Liberal Democrats.
But the Liberal Democrats hold top Tory target Cheadle, which had previously been held with the country's smallest majority (33). Their majority rises to 4,020 (8.47%).
Tony Blair, speaking after being re-elected in Sedgefield with an 18,457 majority, says if Labour does win, it will respond to the result "sensibly and wisely", and listen to people's concerns.
Despite fears of a Muslim anti-war backlash Foreign Secretary Jack Straw holds on to his Blackburn seat with only a slightly reduced majority.
Schools minister Stephen Twigg - who won Enfield Southgate from the Conservatives' Michael Portillo in 1997 - becomes a Labour ministerial casualty when he loses it back to the Tories.
Outspoken Labour MP Bob Marshall-Andrews, a critic of Tony Blair since winning in Medway in 1997, says he will lose his seat and blames the prime minister and the Iraq war.
Labour loses three key marginal seats in Scotland - Western Isles and Dundee to the SNP, and East Dunbartonshire to 25-year-old Lib Dem Jo Swinson, who becomes the youngest MP.

Former Conservative leader Baroness Margaret Thatcher tells ITN: "The figures are not looking good enough for the Conservatives. I'd have hoped the results would have looked better on the record of what we've done for the country."

Labour loses Blaenau Gwent, its safest Welsh seat held with a majority of 19,000, to independent Peter Law - who gains a majority of 9,121.

05-05-2005, 11:01 PM
The Results from Luton:

Alan Jones (Sensible Party)...9,112
Kevin Philips Bong (Slightly Silly)...Naught
Tarquin Fintimlinbinwhinbimlim Bus Stop Phtang Phtang Ole Biscuit-Barrel (Silly Party)...12,441

05-07-2005, 12:05 PM
Congratulations Tony. So if everyone hates these guys so much for the Iraqi war why are they winning re-election? Howard, Bush, Blair...