Monday, June 8, 2009

Labour Routed in European Elections

Following the pattern of Geert Wilders' party finishing a very strong second, and the exit polls showing conservative parties being the favorites in many major European countries, the gutless Labour Party has gotten crushed. The UK is finally waking up.

Hat tip to Margaret.

Labour routed in European elections
Gordon Brown's political survival is in the balance after Labour suffered a devastating defeat in the European elections.

The party was beaten into third place by the UK Independence Party (Ukip) in the popular vote while the far-right British National Party (BNP) achieved a major breakthrough by gaining its first European seats.

The defeat could be the catalyst for rebel Labour backbenchers plotting to oust Prime Minister Gordon Brown to come out into the open and launch a direct leadership challenge.

Labour managed just 15.4 per cent of the popular vote to Ukip's 17.5 per cent. The Tories had 28.3 per cent while the Liberal Democrats were in fourth with 14 per cent.

Despite victories in the North West and Yorkshire, the BNP had a lower share of the vote than the Greens, with 6.6 per cent to their 8.8 per cent.

Labour lost five seats to leave them with just 11, two fewer than Ukip with 13 and 13 behind the Conservative tally of 24.

Deputy leader Harriet Harman admitted the results were "very dismal", saying: "Our supporters are absolutely furious with us about expenses. They expect us to have higher standards than the Tories."

The results will set the scene for a tense meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party, where the Prime Minister is expected to address his shell-shocked backbenchers later.

There will be particular dismay that the party has fallen so far that it opened the door for the BNP to take seats in Yorkshire and the Humber and in the North West, where the party's leader Nick Griffin was elected.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham said: "It is a sad moment in British politics. The BNP is like the ultimate protest vote. It is how to deliver the establishment a two-fingered salute. I think largely it is a comment on Westminster politics."

Mr Griffin said: "The party is going to go on and grow very rapidly. We're going to be major contenders in a number of places in the next general election and the next wave of council elections."

Ukip leader Nigel Farage said: "This time we have come second in a major national election. That is a hell of an achievement especially given that over the last three or four weeks we have not really had a proper debate about the European question."

Link to Article

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