It must be a glummer Gordon Brown than usual that woke up in the flat above 10 Downing Street this morning. After the mauling he received in the local elections, the fiasco of his reshuffle, the booing from sections of the crowd in Normandy he now finds his party’s Euro vote has collapsed pushing Labour in to third place being the Tories and UKIP. I guess its good news though for Nokia as the British PM will no doubt hurl a couple more mobile phones around and they’ll need to be replaced.
I watched the election results come in on Spain’s TVE1 and Sky News. In Spain we polled on Sunday and by 22.00 around 80 per cent of the vote was in and we knew how the parties had fared.
Over on Sky News a depressed Adam Bolton was left reviewing the results from Spain, Poland, Italy and elsewhere in far-flung Europe. One constituency in England told him the result might not be known for six hours...even the rest would take a good while to crawl in. I bet Gordon Brown muttered “what’s the rush, what’s the rush!”
In Spain the centre right Partido Popular’s leader, Mariano Rajoy, and his party’s supporters were wearing large smiles. Hardly surprising as the party had chalked up its first National election victory since it lost power in 2004.
In the interim the PP has lost two Spanish General Elections and the last Euro poll so Sunday’s victory tasted very sweet indeed. However whilst prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero will have been disappointed with second place the results were far better than a government battling with the full effects of the economic crisis could rightfully expect. Indeed how his socialist counterpart in London must envy him.
After Sunday’s poll the PP have 23 Euro MPs a loss of one over 2005. PSOE have 21 four less than last time out when they had a one seat advantage over the PP. The PP commanded 42.23 per cent of the vote (41.21 in 2005) and PSOE slumped to 38.51 compared with 43.48. So PSOE are firmly in second place but it not a disastrous result and with the general election not due to 2012 Zapatero will still be hopeful of a recovery. What would Gordon Brown give for 38.51 per cent of the vote? Don’t ask!