UK election: Signs suggest upsets on way

May 5, 2005 at 8:55 PM
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LONDON, May 5 (UPI) -- As electoral results are announced from consituencies across Britain, the early signs are that some major upsets could be on the way.

Though Labor has so far maintained its hold on traditional party strongholds, several seats have registered a significant swing towards the Liberal Democrats. In the northern Labor heartland seat of Hull, East Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott held his seat but saw a swing of 6 percent to the Liberal Democrats, suggesting the party could see serious losses in more marginal seats.

The Conservative Party gained the London seat of Putney from Labor in its first win of the night. Conservative Spokesman Steve Norris told the BBC the gain, as the first real Labor-Conservative contest, would please the party.

But Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said the Putney result could not be seen as indicative of other marginal seats.

Electoral expert Tony King said Labor could see losses in several London seats. The Labor vote was "fragmenting," he said, with a great deal of it going to the Liberal Democrats. The Lib Dems would also be pleased with their win in Southport, he said, where they had been victorious in their first head on clash with the Conservatives.

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