Tag Archives: elections
I’m belatedly posting my article on the aftermath of the British election. It appeared on the SW website on May 13.
AFTER FIVE days of frantic negotiations following the May 6 general election, Britain has its first coalition government since the Second World War.
The resignation of Labour Party Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Wednesday cleared the way for a parliamentary alliance between the Conservatives, or Tories, and Liberal Democrats to take power. David Cameron, leader of the Tories, will be the new prime minister.
In the election, the Conservative Party won 306 members of parliament (MPs) to Labour’s 258 and just 57 for the Liberal Democrats. But a majority in the House of Commons is 325, so the Tories were forced to seek a partner for a coalition government.
The Conservatives routed New Labour across England, getting 36 percent of the vote and winning 97 new MPs. Labour suffered a meltdown–its share of the vote fell to just 29 percent, and the party lost 91 seats in parliament.
This is a huge swing to the Tories. But it says more about the failures of New Labour than it does about any general political shift to the right in Britain. Continue reading
Here’s my piece on today’s election. It’s pretty basic–designed for American readers who haven’t been following British politics all that closely. It’s also a little dated already–the Tories have moved further ahead in the polls and the Lib Dems have fallen back a little.
My sense is that a Tory government with a small majority, or a Tory government that relies on Lib Dem or Unionist votes, will lack a genuine mandate for massive cuts to the public sector. We could be looking at a period of real political and economic instability.
I’ll write something else when the results come in. This went up on the Socialist Worker website on May 6.
BRITISH VOTERS will go to the polls today in an election that will probably end the Labour Party’s 13-year dominance of national politics.
Pre-election polls put the right-wing Conservative Party, known as the Tories, with the biggest share of the vote, but the big news is that the Tories may not gain an outright majority in the House of Commons. Who becomes prime minister is determined by which party can organize a parliamentary majority, either on its own or in coalition with other parties.
Labour, meanwhile, looks set to win its lowest share of the vote since the early 1980s, and may even finish third behind the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, the third mainstream party in British politics. Continue reading