British results trickling out

May 5th, 2005 | by Andrew Ó Baoill |

The results of the British election are trickling in – at this point there are 12 Labour MPs elected and 1 Conservative – and the BBC’s analysis of its exit poll is painting the results as disappointing for everybody! Labour will win, but with a much reduced majority, the Conservatives won’t gain as much as they want (but will gain) and the Liberal Democrats may not make any gains. My reading, if the results match the exit poll, is that it’s not particularly good news for anti-war campaigners as the move from Labour doesn’t seem to be towards anti-war candidates/parties in any noticeable manner.

Most interesting, at this point as we wait for substantive results, is a sit-in at a polling station after voters weren’t allowed to vote, despite claiming to have arrived up to an hour befor the close of polling. Sound like the crazy scenes in Ohio and elsewhere? Perhaps, except for the fact that the people ended their protest after police arrived. This is strange to me. First, in Ireland there’s always a police officer on duty at polling stations, so it’s strange for me to think that there wouldn’t be one on hand during the day. Second, and more importantly, it would indicate that in the UK you don’t have an automatic right to vote once you’re at a polling station before polls close.

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