Friday, 6 May 2005

Labour win

So it is a third term for New Labour then. I don't think the result (at the time of writing a Commons majority of 60-70 seats) surprised anyone. Labour probably lost some votes in regards to anger over the war in Iraq. Nonetheless, the Conservatives under Howard probably weren't a viable alternative to Blair and New Labour.

One thing that intrigued me regarding election night included Oona King losing her seat at Bethnal Green & Bow to George Galloway and Respect. Most commentators believed it was the 'Muslim vote' which lost Ms. King and Labour this constituency and I'd concur with such an analysis. It's understandable that many UK Muslims were opposed to the Iraq war.

I also hear that Michael Howard is planning to resign. I don't really believe he should, since the Tories have made some gains in this election, even if their share of the vote has not drastically inproved. There is the factor of Howard's age. In a 2009/10 election, he would be almost seventy (albeit the late James Callaghan became PM in his sixties as was Churchill during WWII).

From the libertarian perspective though, it simply means that with the victory of New Labour, we are in store for four/five more years of big government. Public expenditure shall rise to fund 'public services'. Taxes on business and the individual will probably be increased too and such rises may jeopardise the UK's currently strong economic position. Government expenditure as a proportion of GDP is already approaching the levels of France and Germany.

I've stated this before, but I'd like to see some reform of the electoral system. If I were a Tory, I'd be upset that New Labour can attain under 40% of the popular vote yet still possess a relatively healthy majority in the House of Commons.