Brown takes a beating

2010-05-01 09:13

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s re-election hopes took a

fresh battering today with the loss of a key media endorsement and a poll

confirming his Labour Party was in third place ahead of the May 6 vote.

Sensing weakness, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg attacked

Labour as a spent force and claimed the final few days of the election campaign

would be a “two-horse race” between his party and the main opposition


Clegg was boosted by the endorsement of The Guardian

newspaper, which traditionally backs Labour but said in an editorial

today that “it is hard to feel enthusiasm” for another five years of



Times, another leading newspaper which backed Labour in the last three

elections, meanwhile switched to the Conservatives, saying they were the best

prospect to help Britain recover from the global financial crisis.

Labour, in power for 13 years, began this campaign as the underdog

against a strong Tory party. But a huge surge in Lib Dem support after Clegg’s

star turn in televised leaders’ debates unexpectedly pushed them into third


A Harris poll for The Daily Mail Saturday confirmed Labour’s

difficulties, giving them just 24%, down two on the previous week, compared to

33% for the Conservatives (down one) and 32% for the Lib Dems (up three).

The results of the poll, taken just after the third and final TV

debate on Thursday, would give David Cameron’s Conservatives the largest number

of seats but not enough to have a majority, a situation known as a hung


Former Labour prime minister Tony Blair returned yesterday to help

shore up Brown’s flagging campaign and in an interview published today he hit

back at what he called voters’ “flirtation” with the Lib Dems.

Blair said: “I do believe in the end that there will be a sense

that the Lib Dem flirtation is an interesting thing to do but it’s not a serious

thing to vote for.

“The fact that it might seem an interesting thing to do is not the

right reason to put the keys of the country in their hands,” he said.

Blair’s return, his second appearance on the campaign trail, came

just two days after Brown became mired in a major row after being overheard

dismissing a Labour voter as “bigoted” for asking him about immigration.

Numerous apologies failed to contain the damage, nor did Brown’s

performance in Thursday’s TV debate, which focused on the economy, an issue on

which the former finance minister was expected to shine. – Sapa-AFP

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.