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Friday, May 2, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC: Brown ‘disappointed’ by poll loss

Gordon Brown says it has been a “bad and disappointing” night for Labour, as the party suffers its worst local election results in at least 40 years.

BBC research suggests Labour won 24% of votes cast in England and Wales, behind the Tories on 44% and Lib Dems on 25%.

So far Labour has lost 189 councillors and key councils like Reading. Tory gains include Bury and North Tyneside.

More interesting than the fact the the Tories are at 44% is the fact that, at the moment at least, Labour is third behind the Liberal Democrats:

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg told BBC Breakfast: “We were 13% a few months ago, we’re now 25%. We’ve over-taken Labour, we’ve taken seats off the Conservatives, we’ve taken seats off Labour.

“If you call that a disappointment then we inhabit different planets. I am actually delighted, we are regaining momentum.”

Of course, Labour didn’t fare too well in previous local elections (in 2004) when they won only 26% of the vote (which was attributed to discontent over the war in Iraq and with then-PM Tony Blair). The numbers don’t exactly scream support for new PM Gordon Brown:

Of 1,005 people who took part in the poll, 68% said Mr Cameron was an asset to his party, compared with 43% for Mr Clegg and 42% for Mr Brown.

One suspects that part of the issue is simply that Labour has been in control of the national government for so long, that whatever discontent that voters may have is aimed at them. Further, there has been an economic downturn across the pond as well, and that is never good news for incumbent parties-especially when the leader of that party (i.e., Brown) main strength is supposed to be the economy:

Mr Brown’s reputation for economic competence has also taken a blow.

At this time last year 48% said that Labour could be trusted to run the country’s economy, little different from the 53% who did so in 2002. But this year the figure has fallen to 32%.

The BBC’s election central can be accessed here.

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1 Comment »

  1. [...] I noted the poor showing of the Labour Party in local elections in Britain. Not only did they lose a lot of [...]

    Pingback by PoliBlog (TM): A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » A Sign of Labour’s Trouble — Saturday, May 3, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

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