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Updated: May 5, 2012 01:51 IST

Massive defeat for Tories in local poll backlash

Hasan Suroor
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Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha arrive at a polling station in Westminster, London, to vote in the mayoral and council elections on Thursday.
AP Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha arrive at a polling station in Westminster, London, to vote in the mayoral and council elections on Thursday.

Britons on Friday voted with their feet against the government's economic policies with the Tories and their coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, suffering humiliating losses in local elections across Britain.

The opposition Labour party notched up a series of victories exceeding its own expectations.

Prime Minister David Cameron apologised for the scale of the Tory humiliation, widely interpreted as a rejection of his government's austerity programme which has led to deep public spending cuts and pushed unemployment to unprecedented levels.

As bad news poured in, the Tories were pinning their hopes on the London mayoral election with their candidate, Boris Johnson, poised to be re-elected for a second term against Labour's Ken Livingstone. Labour leader Ed Miliband, basking in his party's electoral bounce, described the results as a “wake-up call” for the government, claiming that only his party could “deliver Britain the change it needs”.

“We are a party winning back people's trust, regaining ground, but there is more work to do,” he said.

Mr. Cameron said he was sorry that so many of his party councillors had lost their seats, but rejected calls for a change of strategy.

“These are difficult times and there aren't easy answers. What we have to do is take the difficult decisions to deal with the debt, deficit and broken economy that we've inherited and we will go on making those decisions and we've got to do the right thing for our country,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, whose party's performance was one of the worst since its inception, said he was “really sad” , but was “determined” to “continue to play our role in rescuing, repairing and reforming the British economy”.

Elections to 181 local councils in England, Wales and Scotland involving nearly 5,000 seats were held. With full results yet to be declared, Tories had lost 370 seats and the Lib Dems more than 220 while Labour was up by more than 650 seats.

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Bradford West, where i live, got George Galloway (GG) back in Parliament
with an overwhelming majority five weeks ago. Yesterday, Respect, the
Party he founded won five seats ousting the leader and deputy leader of
the local governing Labour Party (LP). GG, MP was expelled from the LP
for his stance against the illegal invasion of Iraq and his loyalty to
the principles of the LP in opposition to "New LP" set up by enterists
T. Blair & co.
GG the figurehead of the ship "Respect" sails with ease the murky
waters, the traditional Labour voters.
GG is a legend of his times (Google and Ytube him for evidence).
Bradford has its ebb and flows in community excitements most prominently
the public burning of a copy of Rushdie's Satanic Verses. The success of
G.G. and Respect Party may become also a catalyst like the burning of a
book to "re-set the kaleidoscope that is in flux" ie political re-
alignment.
I did not vote for GG as i doubt his credibility but did for my new
Respect Councillor.

from:  rajagopal raman
Posted on: May 4, 2012 at 22:48 IST

I live in UK and i can tell you that this result was widely expected due to the coalition policies. One thing i like about the system in UK is people get quick successive chances to say what they feel unlike India where we get chance only once in 4 years and by this time everything would be forgiven and forgotten.

from:  John
Posted on: May 4, 2012 at 16:50 IST
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