Dawn's Early Light is anxiously awaiting the poll results out of the United Kingdom today, as Prime Minister Tony Blair is likely to win a third term but with a lower margin of victory than his last two elections.
In short, it is likely:
- Labour ministers of parliament will win with under 40% of the vote (polls show around 37%) giving the American ally a win in the three-party race.
- The Tories have put themselves further in the wilderness with a barely above 30% showing (polls show around 31% support).
- The Liberal Democrats are making decent gains again, with about 21% of the vote.
The Times reports:
"Overall, the polls did not make good reading for the Conservatives. The Times poll suggests that Labour has been holding on to its support in the final days of the campaign and, along with the Liberal Democrats, is taking most votes from those who have only recently made up their minds."
While Iraq played a significant role in the eroding trust in Mr. Blair, the opposition is in disarray as the Economist notes:
"But for all the continuing disquiet over Iraq, including among many Labour parliamentarians, Mr Blair’s poll lead has grown during the campaign. Though voters have lost faith in the prime minister, they trust the Conservative leader, Michael Howard, even less. So successfully has Mr Blair stolen the Conservatives’ best clothes—sound economic management and reform of public services—that Mr Howard has resorted to right-wing populism, trying to whip up fears about immigration. To little avail, it would seem."
The Economist also looks at the politics of the EU and the upcoming French vote and Mr. Blair's future:
"Perhaps a more urgent challenge for a re-elected Mr Blair will be the referendum he has promised to hold next year on the proposed European Union constitution. If Britons vote to reject the document, Mr Blair could be forced out of 10 Downing Street earlier than he would like, and with his work unfinished. Of course he could get off scot-free, if France’s voters say no in their referendum, later this month, which would probably kill the constitution. A run of polls said the French would reject the constitution but the latest ones, this week, suggest that it could be oui after all. It would be unsurprising if, behind his smiles, Mr Blair is more worried about the mood of French voters than he is about his countrymen’s."
Prime Minister Blair has been an exceptional ally with clear vision in how the new world order should work and the war on terror prosecuted. Mr. Blair is good for America's troubled relationship with Europe and good for Europe's troubles. Let's hope the polls are accurate, and then we will raise a toast to our British friend.