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  • The Labour Party and the EU Take A Beating in Britain’s Elections

    Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown attends a meeting in Stratford, east London where he spoke with local Labour Party activists on June 7, 2009. Gordon Brown today sought to face down his critics, vowing that he would not "walk away" in the face of political and economic difficulties. Addressing Labour activists in East London he pledged to push on with measures to tackle the recession and clean up Parliament.

    The polls said it would be bad for Labour. But no one expected it to be this bad. On Thursday, Britons voted in local county elections and elections for the European Parliament. The result was a devastating repudiation of Gordon Brown’s tottering government, and of the cause of European integration.

    First, the local numbers. England’s divided up into 34 counties. After the elections, the Conservatives control 30 of them. The Liberal Democrats run one county council. The remaining three are not controlled by any one party. There are 2,362 council seats. The Conservatives went into the election with over a thousand more than Labour. They now have 1,531. Across all of England, Labour lost 291 seats and now has only 178. The Tories now completely dominate local government in England, with only the Liberal Democrats retaining any strength.

    As bad as that is, the results in the European elections were even worse for Labour. It took third place, with just over 15 percent of the vote. It was lucky to do that well: the Liberal Democrats were only two percentage points behind it. The winners were the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), on over 17 percent of the vote, and, of course, the Tories, with over 28 percent. Both UKIP and the Conservatives increased their vote share. All in all, it was the worst showing for Labour in a national election since 1918.

    The first takeaway from the results is the simple, obvious one that the British people have lost all confidence in Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in the Labour Party, and in the government. And the reason for that is clear: Britain’s economy is in terrible shape, as are the state’s finances. As Brown was Chancellor of the Exchequer – like being Secretary of the Treasury in the U.S., but with a lot more power – for a decade, he has found it impossible to escape responsibility for the economic implosion. Add in a scandal with Parliamentary expenses that has made a lot of MPs – from all the parties – look greedy and out of touch, and it’s not surprising Labour got hammered.

    But the Tories weren’t the only beneficiaries. UKIP, the Greens, the British National Party, and other minor parties all gained vote share, as did the Scottish Nationalists and the stay-at-home vote. The elections show that large numbers of Britons have lost confidence in all three of the major parties. In the light of the expenses scandal, that’s not surprising. The Tories had a great night, but the biggest winner of all may have been ‘none of the above.’ That sentiment was partly what drove the UKIP vote, which hurt the Tories. Similarly, the success of the BNP, as Philip Johnston of the Telegraph has pointed out, “is a direct result of the failure of mainstream parties, notably Labour, which traditionally represents the areas where the BNP is strongest.”

    To an extent, Britain’s voting pattern was not distinctive: the right made gains across most of Europe, and turnout set a new low. That points out a lesson that the results in Britain reinforce: the voters have lost confidence in the European project as a whole, and in many of the elite, establishment parties that have spent the past fifty years advancing it. That accounts for most of UKIP’s strength, for at least some of the BNP’s vote, and for the success of the minor parties. Simply put, the left and the European Union are running out of steam and shedding supporters: both are establishment causes, and both are paying the price for it.

    Britain’s Tories look likely to ride to power on the back of this sentiment, in an election that could come as early as October. If the Conservatives win, they will have the serious responsibility of addressing the errors that have proven so costly in practical terms, and alienated so many Britons from the system.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to The Labour Party and the EU Take A Beating in Britain’s Elections

    1. Joseph Landry, Virgi says:

      Good, after they throw the liberals out in Europe, perhaps they would come over the pond and help us throw out our own liberals in American politics. Lets just start all over again.

    2. rich weirton, wv says:

      Yah, I don't think we need their help. I think the liberals will get a very bad drubbing in 2010 and again in 2012.

      You can't go on ignoring the will of we the people

      and expect to get re-elected…

    3. NEAL says:

      SHOULD THE CIVIL EMPLOYEE MAKE UP MATCH THE MIX OF POPULAR VOTE?HOW DOES ONE INITIATE CHANGES THROUGH THE PEOPLE WHO CARRYOUT POLICIES WHEN THEY DO NOT SUPPORT THEM?WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME THOSE QUESTIONS WERE DEBATED?WHO IS IN CHARGE?

    4. Bette, Bridgewater, says:

      I think it is wonderful! We need some hope that things will change here. Maybe it's a sign of things to come from the motherland.

    5. Kerry, Colorado says:

      How wonderful it would be to have the same thing happen here in the US. The Liberals and Democrats are destroying America right before our eyes. God help us!!

    6. Howard R. Reed, Durh says:

      Hooray!

      The Brits have finally come out from under their liberal/socialist lethargy and are getting it right by rallying around the Margaret Thatcher crowd.

      It appears it has only taken American's 5 months of Obamnation to realize the huge mistake we made in putting this school yard bully with all the toys in charge of a once flourishing nation.

      Let's hope the current polls reflect American's willingness to forgive recalcitrant Republicans by shutting Boy Bam as we did Bubba 'der schliekmeister' down in 2010. Please pray for America's deliverance out of the Lib Lab Democrat darkness.

      The Turban Torpedo

    7. Jill Hetherington says:

      There is hope. I really had lost hope because it seems like nobody has been listening to the people in charge who are destroying everything. Maybe everyone isn't blind.

    8. Barb -mn says:

      Thank the Brits! Thank God!

      Stay strong Conservatives. The task is difficult but the drive is freedom where it belongs. With the people, not the government.

    9. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      We the people will close the LIB LAB in 2010! The

      Pendulum Swings!

    10. Pingback: Yippee!? The Labour Party and the EU Take A Beating in Britain’s Elections « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    11. Jamey, Central Calif says:

      They HAD to. Now that the world can't count on the U.S.S.A.of O for minimum till 2010, what choice did they have? When the rubber meets the road, down deep, most people want responsible people running the country. Fun can wait. Jong is ILL and now has nukes. The obama says Iran has a legitimate need for nuclear power. I can't see the English leaving liberals in charge. They are the designated driver this trip. GOD save the queen!

    12. Andrew, Phoenix says:

      Does Pres Obama want America to fail?

      Since 1/21/09 we have amassed a debt which we cannot pay for. China is very leery of buying our bonds and the devaluation of our dollar? We now have 14 Czars and report only to the President? I do not know of any Czar who was successful in history. Are we simply adding more layers of government? We now own banks, insurance companies, Fanny Mae/Freddie Mac, and if he bailout states we will own them too. He tells us we need to be fiscally responsible but yet he continues to spend like we have unlimited funds. Stated in Egypt it is okay for Iran to have nuclear power, as long it is for domestic purposes? Don't they have more oil than they can use? Orders the closing of Gitmo without a plan? Rushed the first stimulus package as an emergency but it was signed on Friday he left for Chicago on Saturday and Nancy Pelosi went to the Vatican for an audience Saturday with the Pope where he gave her a lecture about being Catholic and supporting abortions. Why did he wait to fly to Denver on Tuesday to sign this "emergency Porky the Stimulus Bill" and no one read it but he signed it? In times of economic recession why does he seem to stay on the campaign trail? Doesn't it cost about $750,000 every time Air Force One goes "wheels up"? What happened to the transparent administration and his promise to go over every spending bill line by line and veto any pork? Shouldn't one lead by example?

      Why is he in such a rush to national healthcare and spend more money that we do not have? It is usually prudent to take the time to make sure you do it right the first time. Look what happened with the rush on "Porky the Stimulus"? Shouldn't Senator Baucus be ashamed of making a mockery of Congress by having a speed reader read the economic bill? Whatever happened to taking the time so each member of Congress to use due diligence to not only read but digest and comprehend our money before they freely spend it? All of this will lead to tax increases and inflation. Didn't Washington listen to the Tea Parties (oh I forgot they laughed at them), did they not hear the California voters 2 weeks ago?

      Why will Acorn be a part of the census process when they have so many cases pending in several states? How come Attorney General Holder dropped the case against "The New Black Panther Party" who stood at polling places in Philly with clubs? How can Mrs. Pelosi accuse the CIA of lying but will not prove it or apologize?

      Why was our interrogation methods released when 4 CIA directors advised him not to? Why have the documents supporting their effectiveness not been released? How do you think our interrogators feel about being threatened to be brought to court for "torture"? Their spirits cannot be high when they feel the administration does not have their back? Why does he apologize abroad about our country? Why did he not mention all of the lives and sacrifices we have done for Muslims? Why does it appear we are turning our back on Israel, who is our strongest ally in the Mid East and they are the one's always being attacked? I do not know about you but I am terribly troubled by what has already occurred and what else will be coming. The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough. We need to get back to being the United States of America and not Obama World

    13. Preston, Texas says:

      Yes it must be the liberals that are destroying our country, that makes sense. Why then did we go into an economic recession after George W. came into office? Because Republicans are ruining our country……….

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