Election drubbing for Labour

Labour has experienced huge losses in England and Wales, and the SNP has made inroads in Scotland in Thursday's elections.

As counting continued on Friday, revealing a Labour slide, in spite of the losses Prime Minister Tony Blair was defiant that Labour had a "good springboard" for a General Election.

In Wales indications are that Labour may lose overall control of the Assembly falling short of the 30 seats required for a simple majority.

Conservatives were jubilant at the party's election performance in the local council elections. Conservatives have made substantial gains with around half of the seats returned. Tory candidates have picked up 770 seats with Labour down 418, Lib Dems down 229, as the main losers.

Conservative Party leader David Cameron described the results as "stunning."

However, the Scottish election has been overshadowed by problems with the voting system and over half the votes have yet to be returned. On Friday afternoon as counting progressed, the SNP had gained 17 seats in a favourable swing to the nationalist Scots party, though Labour had taken 36 of the seat to the SNPs 21 and the Lib Dems 10.

The complex voting systems for the elections have led to a huge number of spoilt ballot papers in Scotland where some 100,000 ballot papers were spolit.

The Electoral Commission said that it would be conducting a "full and independent review of the elections" of the elections in Scotland.


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