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  • Sunday, May 08, 2005

    This is no democracy

    The Sunday Herald reflects on the fact that while Blair's New Labour lot received only 35% of the votes (most likely they received less than that when you factor in vote rigging) in this election, they managed to win about 60% of the seats in the commons:

    By calculated defections and tactical voting, a disillusioned electorate cut Blair’s majority by 99 seats, from a domineering 166 last time to a timid 66. From Putney to Na h-Eileanan an Iar (the Western Isles); from Bethnal Green to Dunbartonshire East, voters held the Prime Minister to account in a concerted and finely targeted withdrawal of consent. Even in the seats Labour retained, such as Edinburgh South, voters delivered a message. They accepted that Nigel Griffiths probably deserved to stay on – after all he is a confederate of Gordon Brown’s and supported congestion charging in the city – but just to make sure he understood they slashed his majority to 400. This was a remarkable achievement for the British voters. “Labour on a reduced majority” didn’t appear on any ballot paper. The Prime Minister warned that tactical voting would only benefit the Tories. Not so. The Conservatives did not have a good night, winning fewer seats even than the hapless Michael Foot achieved in Labour’s annus horribilis, 1983.
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