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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Could not have said it better....

It is about 230 AM GMT (I know the posting time is different -- I post in US time, five hours earlier) and I awoke to the radio sounds of Blair making his constiuency victory speech in Sedgefield where he obviously did quite well despite the challenge from Reg Keys. He also spoke of Labour having a majority for its third Parliamentary election in succession -- thus giving him a historic third term in 10 Downing Street.

Looking at the TV with the mute button on, however, I see a little sidebar that indicates that the Labour majority will not necessarily be up to a level of comfort -- which most regarded as 90+. Anything below that number, it was said before the election, would be regarded as a negative for Blair and would probably lead to his turning over the PMs job to Gordon Brown in two years. The projected number on the screen is a majority of 80.... [430 update: BBC is now projecting Labour majority of 66 -- and the Tories are claiming somewhat of a victory....]

On the election campaign itself, since this is the first parliamentary one I have observed from this side of the pond I have little to compare it to, but I found it strikingly different from the US election campaign in many ways -- this despite all the effort to bring in US (and Australian) style strategies and consultants. The only way to describe it is "very British". My sense of this was confirmed by an article in the G2 section of the Guardian on election morning by historian Simon Shama who flew over from the US on Monday to take a closer look as a commentator for the Guardian. His task was to offer his judgment about the UK politics he became so familiar with when he lived here and the US politics he has witnessed for the past twenty years while residing over there. His analysis is worth the read....

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