Thursday, May 05, 2005

The UK votes today.
I am a bit unclear on whether it's just England voting, or also Scotland Wales and N. Ireland, which have a bit more in the way of home rule than they used to.
Blair's Labour Party is expected to be reelected, but lose some votes to the Liberal-Democrats, and some seats to the Tories. If too many votes or seats are lost,
Blair's third and last term may be shorter than otherwise.
If Blair leaves at some point, the finance minister, a Mr. Brown, is likely to take over Labour, and reinstitute more traditional Labour policies, which would give the Tories a chance to rebuild. Those who support Blair's moderate policies tend to vote Tory, while he will lose some Labour votes to the L-D's because of opposition to the war. Most incumbents will be re-elected, which will keep Blair in office for now.
That's the general idea, as it seems to someone thousands of miles away who doesn't really follow these things. Update tomorrow.
very early exit polls show labour losing 90+ seats for a 66 seat majority. see correction below.
Or is that losing 161 seats? No, it's 90 something.
David Boothroyd's historical UK election data page.
Oakley cautioned, however, that exit polls in British elections have been wrong in the past.
The Conservatives were projected by the exit poll to have won 209 seats, the Liberal Democrats 53 and other parties 28.
But CNN's Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider said that if the figure was correct, Labour would be reelected with just 37 percent of the popular vote -- the lowest ever by a winning party in Britain.

link for history of brit parties.
later update: The Liberal-Democrats have 61 seats already, with some 40 seats still counting. One independent candidate won, while Plaid Cymru went from 4 to 3.
Some of the L-D gains are in Scotland, where the Scottish National Party losts seats (not to be confused with the British National Party, anti-immigration hardliners.)
More in a few days when the rest of the numbers are in.
I was wrong about Labour losing 90 seats, it's 45. When they lose 45 seats, the other parties pick up 45 seats, so the majority declines by 90. 45 seats out of 350 or is a shift, but not a disaster.

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