Monday, June 08, 2009

Labour Party Disaster?

What a strange election.

Yes Labour's share of the vote dropped by 7% and they lost 5 MEPs. But the Conservative vote only went up 1.2%, and they gained only 1 MEP. Scotland is yet to declare but it looks like the SNP will gain at Labour's expense.

I am most concerned that the smaller parties failed to make a proper breakthrough. Yes UKIP gained 1 MEP (vote up 0.5%) and the BNP, sadly, gained 2 (vote up 2.5%), but a low turnout has to be a huge advantage to smaller parties whose hardcore vote will turn out come hell or high water. Apart from UKIP and the BNP the smaller parties, although increasing their vote slightly, didn't make any significant breakthroughs with the Greens only retaining their 2 seats. Here is a full national breakdown.

So yes a terrible night for Labour and Gordon Brown but did the Tories really take full advantage? I would say no. Labour did poorly in 2004, admittedly not as badly as this, but went on to win a general election in 2005. In EU elections people know there is little point so will protest vote knowing that there is little at stake. It looks to me like the next general election could produce a tiny Conservative majority or, more likely, a hung parliament. Sadly there seems little hope of a smaller party breaking through yet.

Full BBC election results.

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