Grinsekater Tony Blair - Heute Wiederwahl

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05.05.05 10:43

18637 Postings, 6950 Tage jungchenGrinsekater Tony Blair - Heute Wiederwahl

BBC Wahl Infos

Wenn ich so meinen Eindruck des Wahlkampfs hier wiedergeben kann: selten einen so langweiligen gesehen!
Die einzige Ueberraschung koennte von den Liberal Democrats kommen, die doch maechtig an Stimmen gewinnen koennten.  

05.05.05 13:43

18637 Postings, 6950 Tage jungchenBlair set for another election victory

Blair set for another election victory
Investors focus on size of Labour majority in Parliament
By Kabir Chibber, MarketWatch
Last Update: 6:05 AM ET May 5, 2005  

LONDON (MarketWatch) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair is heavily favored to win a historic third term in office as polls opened Thursday in the U.K. general election.

A final poll before the election showed Blair's Labour Party far ahead of the opposition Conservatives, with a projected majority of 146 seats in the 646-seat House of Commons, the lower chamber of Parliament. The Mori poll on Tuesday was sponsored by the Financial Times.

The poll revealed an apparent swell of support for Labour. Most analysts have been projecting a Labour majority of between 70 seats and 100 seats, down from a 161-seat majority.

A victory would secure Blair's place in history by becoming the first Labour leader to win a third successive term as prime minister.

Unlike the proportional voting systems used in most of Continental Europe, British members of parliament are elected by the majority system, or 'first past the post', meaning that the candidate with the majority of votes in each constituency wins the seat, regardless of whether they have over 50% of the vote. This means that the distribution of seats in parliament can differ widely from the proportion of votes.

Iraq impacts

While a win for Blair's Labour Party has been largely expected, the prime minister has seen his popularity sag over the state of education and hospitals, and because of widespread opposition to his support for the war in Iraq.

Labour, which enjoyed landslide victories in 1997 and 2001, spent much of the last week of campaigning warning disaffected supporters that voter volatility in marginal seats could put the Conservatives in power. See U.K. election story.

The polls open at 7 a.m. British standard time and close at 10 p.m. The final results are expected around 3 a.m. Friday.

Market reaction

Reaction in the currencies and stock markets is expected to be muted, as successive opinion polls have showed Labour's lead widening over the Conservatives in recent weeks.

"We think a Labour victory is all but priced in to the British pound, with a healthy majority for Labour and the credibility of Chancellor Gordon Brown intact," said Kamal Sharma, currencies strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.

He said the pound is not moving on the election, but rather on relative yields compared to other currencies. The markets are much more concerned that the France will vote down the EU constitution in its referendum on May 29. See French referendum story.

Adrian Foster, chief currencies strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, said a "poor" victory -- that is, a tiny majority -- for either party would be negative for the British pound. A strong victory for either would cause the pound to strengthen, as this would preclude the uncertainty of a hung Parliament.

In stocks, Mike Lenhoff, an equities strategist at Brewin Dolphin feels the U.K.'s FTSE All-Share Index would "not be overjoyed" by an outright Labour victory. "It will be indifferent."

The market's feeling is that Labour would see an outright victory as a mandate to continue spending, Lenhoff said. He said he sees an "emerging fiscal deficit" that he thinks will in part be funded through higher taxes.

"In the unlikely event that the Conservatives win, the market would do quite well," Lenhoff added.

Retail stocks will be one sector to watch Friday. "There is a clear perception that consumer demand might remain subdued for a longer period under Labour," said Tim Green, an analyst at Brewin Dolphin, citing worries about tax increases.

He said food retailers, which include J. Sainsbury PLC (UK:SBRY: news, chart, profile) , as well as international retailers would be "more protected" from Labour-victory concerns. He cited the two biggest retailers in the U.K., Tesco PLC (UK:TSCO: news, chart, profile) and GUS PLC (UK:GUS: news, chart, profile) , as examples of more geographically spread U.K. businesses.

"To be honest, interest rates probably matter more than which party gets in," Green concluded.

Rising interest rates have taken some of the momentum out of the white-hot housing market, which had been supporting consumer spending. Several retailers have reported challenging trading conditions and a difficult consumer environment in recent results.

Black hole in public finances?

The strength of the economy has been a central debate over the course of the campaign. "The country's fiscal position is approaching critical," said Peter Dixon, an economist at Commerzbank, adding that he sees smaller increases in education and health spending in the future. "In the next term, the government can't afford to be as generous as it has been."

Gordon Brown, the chancellor of the exchequer and the man considered most likely to succeed Blair as leader of the left-of-center Labour Party, has staked much of his political capital on maintaining spending on public services and the British economy continuing to grow.

The Conservatives have said that Labour, if re-elected, would have to raise taxes to fulfill all its promises. Much of the debate centers on whether Britain's economic growth and record-low unemployment will continue. Brown has predicted the British economy will grow 3% to 3.5% in 2005, after growing 3.1% in 2004, but independent think tanks largely disagree.

The respected Centre for Economics and Business Research projects an economic-growth slowdown to a rate of 2.8% in 2005 and to "just above" 2% after 2006.

If that proves correct, Brown could face the large black hole in public finances that the opposition parties and critical commentators have been predicting.


05.05.05 13:46

18637 Postings, 6950 Tage jungchenBlasts hit U.K. consulate in NYC

Blasts hit U.K. consulate in NYC
By MarketWatch
Last Update: 6:59 AM ET May 5, 2005  

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- The British consulate in New York City was damaged in an apparent bombing early Thursday.

No injuries were reported, news agencies said. Windows were shattered by the blasts by the consulate on Third Avenue, which occurred at 3:35 a.m. Eastern.

Police said a bomb was detonated in a concrete flowerpot, the British television station Sky News said.

Fragments of an explosive device were found by police, BBC News added.

Police determined the devices -- one the size of a pineapple, the other the size of a lemon -- were toy grenades that had been filled with gunpowder, the Associated Press reported.

Britain is holding its general election on Thursday. Polls suggest that incumbent Prime Minister Tony Blair will win.

After an initial decline, the dollar steadied against major currencies. The dollar was less than 0.2% lower against the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound. See currencies.

The benchmark U.K. FTSE 100 stock market index was still up for the day, up 0.49% at 4,906. See London markets.


06.05.05 10:23

18637 Postings, 6950 Tage jungchengaehn

das war sogar noch langweiliger als eh schon befuerchtet...

Verlieren auf hohem Niveau

Tony Blair bleibt britischer Premierminister. Doch das komfortable Stimmenpolster, das er bisher hatte, ist bei der gestrigen Unterhauswahl geschrumpft. Zu viele Briten halten Blair seit dem Irak-Krieg für einen Lügner - aber für kompetent.

Die Labour Partei von Tony Blair hat zum dritten Mal in Folge die britischen Unterhauswahlen gewonnen. Trotz dieses historischen Sieges musste die Regierungspartei starke Verluste hinnehmen. Tory-Chef Michael Howard gratulierte dem Premier und gestand seine Niederlage ein.

"Zum dritten Mal gewählt zu werden, ist fantastisch", sagte Blair am Morgen. "Ich bin sehr stolz." Es ist das erste Mal in der Geschichte Großbritanniens, dass ein Labour-Premier für eine dritte Amtszeit gewählt wird.

Das bisherige Übergewicht von 161 Parlamentssitzen für Labour schrumpfte nach Berechnungen der britischen Fernsehsender jedoch stark. Labour kann laut letzten Hochrechnungen mit 351 der 646 Sitze rechnen. Die Konservativen entsenden voraussichtlich 192 Abgeordnete ins neue Unterhaus. Für die Liberaldemokraten, die sich als einzige bedeutende Partei gegen den Irak-Krieg ausgesprochen hatte, wurden 59 Mandate berechnet. Die Schottischen Nationalisten kommen auf sechs Sitze, Plaid Cymru aus Wales auf drei. Drei Sitze erreichten auch Vertreter anderer Parteien und Einzelkandidaten.

Blair spricht von "Denkzettel"

Am frühen Morgen gestand Michael Howard, der Chef der Konservativen, seine Wahlniederlage ein. "Es sieht danach aus, dass Mr. Blair eine dritte Amtszeit für Labour gewinnt", sagte er. "Ich gratuliere ihm." Die Parlamentswahl sei für die Konservativen dennoch "ein wichtiger Schritt" nach vorn gewesen.

Blair hatte zuvor gesagt, die Wähler hätten ihm einen Denkzettel verpasst. Er räumte in diesem Zusammenhang ein, dass ihn seine Unterstützung des Irak-Krieges wohl Stimmen gekostet haben dürfte. "Es scheint klar, dass das britische Volk wieder eine Labour-Regierung wollte, aber mit einer geringeren Mehrheit", sagte Blair und fügte an: "Ich weiß, dass (das Thema) Irak dieses Land gespalten hat. Ich hoffe aber, dass wir jetzt wieder zusammenfinden."

Blair selbst erhielt in seinem nordostenglischen Wahlkreis Sedgefield zwar sechs Prozentpunkte weniger als 2001, aber kam dennoch auf einen Anteil von 58,9 Prozent der Stimmen. Der unabhängige Kandidat Reg Keys, dessen Sohn im Irak-Krieg sein Leben verlor, erhielt 10,3 Prozent der Stimmen.

Neben Blair gewannen auch weitere Kabinettsmitglieder in ihren Wahlkreisen: Schatzkanzler Gordon Brown und Außenminister Jack Straw setzten sich jeweils gegen ihre Konkurrenten klar durch. In London wird spekuliert, dass Blair bereits während der neuen Legislaturperiode das Amt des Premierministers an Brown übergeben könnte, der in seinem schottischen Wahlkreis Kirkcaldy mit 58,1 Prozent gewann. Brown sprach von einem historischen Sieg und einem Auftrag zur Fortsetzung der Regierungspolitik.

Alle Umfragen hatten bereits einen Sieg Blairs vorausgesagt. Zwar zeigten sie auch, dass die meisten Briten dem Premier seit dem Krieg nicht mehr trauen, doch war der Irak für die Wähler nicht das entscheidende Thema. Die Verbesserung des Gesundheitswesens kam immer an erster Stelle, gefolgt von Steuerpolitik, Ausländerzuzug und Kriminalität. Nach Erkenntnissen der Meinungsforscher profitierte Labour auch von Wirtschaftslage, die allgemein als gut empfunden wird.


07.05.05 19:58

67062 Postings, 7861 Tage KickyRücktrittsforderung von älteren Labourmitgliedern

Senior figures in the Labour party last night called on Tony Blair to abandon his presidential style of government, rein back on his most radical ambitions and name the date of his departure.

As the prime minister reconstructed his cabinet after a gruelling night which saw Labour's Commons majority cut from 160 MPs to 66, even some formerly close allies combined with leftwingers in demanding that he should pay the price immediately for Labour's losses and go now.

Blair loyalists insisted that he will stay on for three or four years. But the former foreign secretary Robin Cook applied more subtle pressure. He urged Mr Blair to set out a timetable for his departure, rather than "leave the party and the nation guessing as to when he might go". Guardian  

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