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(回答先: 英労働党、地方選大敗 ブレア首相「イラクの影」認める 【Ａｓａｈｉ】 投稿者 木田貴常 日時 2004 年 6 月 12 日 19:22:56)
Tony Blair returned from Reagan's funeral to poor election results
Pressure on Blair after elections
Tony Blair is facing further questions about his leadership after the worst performance by a governing party in the local elections.
With most results in, Labour has lost 464 seats and eight councils, including Newcastle and Leeds. The Tories gained 263 seats, including Trafford.
The PM, who has been at Ronald Reagan's funeral, urged Labour MPs to hold their nerve amid the anti-war "protest" vote.
It was a difficult time and "lessons had to be learned", he said.
Speaking in Washington after the state funeral of the former US president, he said: "Of course it's a difficult time, and these things happen to governments, but the basic commitments we have made we are delivering.
"The fact that the government loses council election results doesn't really augur much for the General Election."
According to BBC analysis of 500 key wards, the results mean that Labour has slipped to third place in terms of share of the vote - 12% behind the Conservatives and 3% behind the Liberal Democrats.
If correct, it would be the first time a party in government has finished third in terms of national share of the vote in local elections.
All results are now in except for Birmingham City Council, which will not be known until Sunday.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said Mr Blair needed to reassure the public he had heard the anti-war message from the voters.
"Out there are a lot of people who withheld their Labour vote because they disagreed with what we did in Iraq.
"The tragedy is that hundreds of very good Labour councillors have lost their seats as a result of something which many of them themselves would have opposed.
"If we are to win these people back, it's not enough to simply say we are holding our nerve, we are seeing it though," Mr Cook said.
"We also have to say we have heard what you said, we understand your feelings and yes you have a point and if you vote Labour again it's not going to happen again," he added.
BBC political editor Andrew Marr said Mr Blair knew he could not undertake anything like the Iraq war ever again.
He said the poor results would reopen the leadership debate, but that it was not the summer of crisis that many had predicted.
Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett insisted Mr Blair had done a "tremendous job" as leader and would retain the support of his party to lead Labour at the General Election.
But she acknowledged on the Today Programme that there was a "great deal of dissatisfaction about the issue of Iraq".
Meanwhile the Tories hailed the results as "excellent" and "spectacular".
But party co-chairman Liam Fox conceded the local results did not mean the Conservatives were "guaranteed" a general election win.
Liberal Democrat Leader Charles Kennedy also had cause to celebrate with a net gain of 132 councillors and key victories in Manchester and Newcastle.
"We're continuing to not just hold, but to substantially advance our position. This is really three-party politics in Britain," he said.
But they dropped control of Eastbourne to the Tories, as well as losing Norwich and Cheltenham.
Turnout across England and Wales was about 40%, up an average of 9% on last year - an increase not confined to the four regions piloting all-postal ballots.
In London Ken Livingstone provided a rare bright spot for Labour by being re-elected mayor - albeit with a far smaller majority.
In the London Assembly elections there were falls for all three main parties - with George Galloway's Respect party (5%) and the UK Independence party (10%) both gaining.
The Green Party will also be buoyed by keeping its seat in Manchester, as well as picking up four seats in Oxford, two in Norwich and one in Watford.
The UK Independence Party won a council seat in Hull and another in Derby.
The British National Party took three seats from Labour at Epping Forest, gained a foothold in Bradford with four seats, but failed to gain ground on Burnley Council, where it slipped into fourth place, losing one seat to the Conservatives but gaining one from Labour.
MINOR PARTY GAINS AND LOSSES:
Greens win seats in Norwich, Oxford and Watford and hold councillor in Manchester
BNP take three seats from Labour in Epping Forest, gain four seats in Bradford, but fail to gain ground in Burnley
UKIP win seat in Hull
The elections are the biggest test of voter opinion before the next general election but the final picture will not be clear until the European results appear on Sunday night.
Andrew Marr suggested that Labour should regain the initiative when the European election results are announced, with the UK Independence Party expected to steal many votes from the Conservatives