Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rights group sues US government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels begin work on ceasefire

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Missouri town

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Europe

Brown struggles as Britain votes in European poll

Video by Fiona CAMERON

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-04

Britain votes Thursday in European elections set to deliver a setback to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is increasingly vulnerable amid resignations and reported plots to oust him. Polls suggest Brown's Labour party will place third.

AFP - Britain votes Thursday in European elections set to deliver a bloody nose to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is struggling to assert his authority amid resignations and an alleged plot to oust him.
  
Opinion polls suggest Brown's Labour party will be place third in the vote for Britain's 72 members of the European Parliament, as an already unpopular government faces a backlash over a scandal over lawmakers' parliament expenses.
  
Brown's premiership is also under threat after four government ministers, including two members of his cabinet, quit in the past two days, and reports suggesting backbench Labour MPs are trying to unseat him.
  
Voters will also elect 2,318 councillors in 35 local authorities across England on Thursday, where Labour is again expected to do badly. Polls open at 7:00 am (0600 GMT) and close at 10:00 pm.
  
The ruling party is expected to bear the brunt of public outrage over the expenses row, which has shown MPs have claimed public money for everything from toilet seats to moat cleaning.
  
The situation has not been helped by turmoil at the top.
  
Communities Secretary Hazel Blears, who faced criticism over her expenses, resigned on Wednesday, and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she would step down at the next cabinet reshuffle, expected within days.
  
After two other junior ministers quit on Tuesday, opposition Conservative leader David Cameron declared: "The government is collapsing before our eyes."
  
Meanwhile, newspapers on Thursday reported that an email was being circulated to Labour MPs to sign, calling for Brown to step aside so that a new leader can fight the next general election, due within a year.
  
Addressed to the premier, the email highlights his "enormous contribution to this country and to the Labour party, and this is very widely acknowledged".
  
"However... in the current political situation, you can best serve the Labour Party and the country by stepping down as party leader and prime minister, and so allowing the party to choose a new leader to take us into the next general election."
  
Cameron's Conservative party has been leading Labour in opinion polls for months, and although it has also been damaged by the expenses scandal, it is expected to emerge from the European polls with the largest share of the vote.
  
Analysts are also predicting an increase in support for the smaller parties such as the anti-European UK Independence Party (Ukip) and the far-right British National Party (BNP).
  
A new YouGov poll for the Daily Telegraph published late Wednesday suggests that among people certain to vote, just 16 percent will back Labour, behind the Conservatives' 26 percent and UKip's 18 percent.
  
The Liberal Democrats, the third largest party in parliament, are only slightly behind Labour on 15 percent of the vote, according to the poll of 4,014 people carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
  
The survey also found the Green party commanded 10 percent support and the BNP five percent -- which could be enough to hand them their first MEP.
  
Local election results are due on Friday, but the European votes will not be counted until Sunday, by when all 27 EU member states will have voted.

Date created : 2009-06-04

COMMENT(S)