May 4, 2006


Labour's drubbing (Philip Webster and Jill Sherman, 5/05/06, Times of London)

TONY BLAIR will try to relaunch his battered Government today after suffering a drubbing in the local elections with heavy losses to the Conservatives in London.

He will reshuffle his Cabinet this morning in a desperate move to turn attention from what appeared to be his party’s worst local election showing since the late 1960s and his own worst night at the polls.

Despite performing poorly in the northern cities, failing to gain a foothold in Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool or Newcastle, the Tories compensated with big gains in London and other parts of the South. Overall the Conservatives were heading for a national share of about 39 per cent of the vote, with the Liberal Democrats and Labour close together on about 27 per cent.

Blair punished at the polls (George Jones, 05/05/2006, Daily Telegraph)
More than half the UK electorate - 23 million people - were entitled to vote in elections in rural and urban councils across England

Labour officials said its internal polls suggested the party could be forced into third place, behind the Lib Dems, with the loss of more than 200 seats and control of a number of town halls.

In Barking and Dagenham, Labour feared the British National Party could make gains. Margaret Hodge, the employment minister, had said that as many as 80 per cent of white voters there were considering switching to the far-Right group.

Jonathan Cruddas, the Dagenham Labour MP, said the BNP could win 13 seats in Barking and Dagenham.

"It's a possibility. It's a distinct possibility," he said.

"They could gain 30 or 40 seats across the country and there are some serious issues here that the Government has to take on board and that could have an effect in the next general election."

Among the smaller parties, the UK Independence Party won a seat in Hartlepool. The Greens appeared to be picking up support in Norwich.

Labour suffers local poll losses (BBC, 5/05/06)

Tony Blair has suffered a poor night in England's local elections with Labour losing more than 250 councillors.

The main winners were the Tories, who had their best results since 1992. The Lib Dems failed to make much headway. [...]

The projected vote share if the polls were held nationwide shows the Tories on 40%, Lib Dems 27% and Labour 26%. Turnout is estimated at 36% - down three points from 2004. [...]

In addition to winning 11 seats in Barking, the BNP took three in Sandwell, three in Epping Forest and one in Pendle.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 4, 2006 11:14 PM

MSM headlines tomorrow - Blair rejected by UK, Blair's support of BushHitler's Iraq war the main cause.

Posted by: AWW at May 4, 2006 11:35 PM

"Tories first priority to repair relations with downtrodden Muslim community"

Posted by: Amos at May 5, 2006 3:41 AM

Anyone interested in these issues might well be interested in this site - - which is collecting responses from MPs (as well as the public) as to WHY they think the BNP is making such gains, and what they think can be done to stop them.

It's from a political theatre company who have a play on in the West End later this month which tackles the issues head on. Very timely and very worth checking out...

Posted by: Neil at May 11, 2006 4:16 PM