Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

  • Israel hits targets in Gaza despite diplomatic efforts for ceasefire

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Conflicting rulings by two US courts cast shadow on future of Obamacare

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    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)