A "Mauling" for Labour?
Some of the first newspaper reports suggested it was a nightmare night for Tony Blair, Rhodri Morgan and Jack McConnell. The light of the next day leaves things a bit unclear.
In England, Labour have taken heavy losses. They’ve lost a few councils that should be their natural heartland – such as Blackburn. In total, the Tories have taken control of 15 councils, and the Lib Dems 1.
In Scotland, it’s neck and neck. Both Labour and the SNP have 32 seats in the Parliament. Most of the remaining constituency votes should be Labour ones. But in turn, most of the regional votes will probably go to the SNP. It’s going to be incredibly tight, but it will be a poor show for Alex Salmond if he doesn’t get the most seats.
In Wales, Labour are clearly on top – “contrary to others’ claims that people have ‘voted for change’”. The Lib Dems say the voters have demanded more than one party is in charge, which suggests the people have an incredible knowledge of the complicated electoral system. They’re also not the people’s second favourites, so they have to be careful.
At one point last night, it almost seemed Tony Blair might go out on a high. It didn’t work out like that, but he’s also not going out in a blaze of shame either. The doommongers got it wrong, and while Scotland might prove to be a disappointment for Labour, elsewhere the picture could have been much, much worse.
I got to bed at 7am after a very long, but adrenaline-filled night at ITV Wales. ITV were typically getting the results faster than the BBC were in Wales, but then took longer to get the relevant graphic on screen. All told, it was probably a victory for the Beeb, but that shouldn’t be a surprise – they had a much bigger kitchen sink to throw at it.