Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Bangladesh: Textile workers' lives still at risk?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

WEB NEWS

NYPD's online campaign backfires

Read more

ENCORE!

Celebrating the Bard's birthday in Britain

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yuki Tatsumi, Senior Associate of the East Asia Program, Stimson Center

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

USA: Executions halted over drugs secrecy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

An overly optimistic plan?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

#NYPD Fail

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Soaring iPhone sales in China boost Apple earnings

Read more

  • Russia orders military drills as Ukraine moves on separatists

    Read more

  • Israel halts Middle East peace talks over Hamas deal

    Read more

  • Afghan guard kills US doctors in Kabul hospital attack

    Read more

  • Platini: PSG in danger over Financial Fair Play rules

    Read more

  • Ségolène Royal denies banning cleavage at French ministry

    Read more

  • Palestinian unity deal stirs anger in Israel

    Read more

  • Video: Mayor in east Ukraine ready ‘to turn Slaviansk into battlefield’

    Read more

  • US would defend Japan in islands dispute, Obama says

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • US soldiers arrive in Poland as Ukraine crisis continues

    Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • Millions of Syrians desperately need aid, says UN

    Read more

  • Muslims in CAR pray for an escape route

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

Europe

Labour minister urges supporters to vote Liberal in Tory-led constituencies

©

Video by Jonathan CRANE

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-05

With polls showing British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labour Party lagging a day before Thursday's general election, a senior minister called Labour supporters to vote tactically for the Liberal Democrats in Conservative-led areas.

REUTERS - Supporters of Britain's ruling Labour should consider voting for the Liberal Democrats in some areas at the May 6 election to keep the Conservatives out of power, a senior minister said on Tuesday.

Welsh Secretary Peter Hain said Labour voters in specific districts where the party's candidate had no chance of winning should "vote with their heads, not their hearts", even if that meant backing a Liberal Democrat to keep a Conservative out.

The two opposition parties poured scorn on the tactic, calling it "desperate" and "politically bankrupt".

Two days before the election, the centre-right Conservatives were ahead of centre-left Labour in the opinion polls, but their lead may be too small to secure an outright majority in parliament after 13 years of Labour in power.

The Lib Dems, who enjoyed a surge in support after their leader shone in a TV debate, are jockeying with Labour for second place in the polls and could hold the balance of power in a "hung parliament", where no party has an overall majority.

"I want every Labour candidate to win, obviously. But many are not going to be in a position to win," Hain told BBC radio.

"People should act with their heads and not their hearts and not wake up ... and find themselves with a Conservative MP (member of parliament) and Conservative government."


Splitting the vote


Schools Secretary Ed Balls, one of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's closest allies, stopped short of explicitly urging Labour supporters to vote for the Lib Dems.

Still, in an interview with the New Statesman magazine, he said: "I always want the Labour candidate to win, but I recognise there's an issue in places like North Norfolk (in eastern England), where my family live, where Norman Lamb (the Lib Dem candidate) is fighting the Tories (Conservatives), who are in second place. And I want to keep the Tories out."

Senior Conservative Jeremy Hunt was pressed at a news conference on whether he would advise Tory supporters in places where the party had little chance of winning to vote tactically for the Lib Dems to deprive Labour of parliamentary seats.

"We have more confidence in our values than to start playing those sorts of games," he said, sidestepping questions on the risk that splitting the opposition vote between Conservatives and Lib Dems would allow Labour to cling to certain seats.

Brown denied that appearing to ask its supporters to back another party was "desperate", telling GMTV: "No, because I want people to vote Labour and I want a majority Labour government."

The Labour-supporting Daily Mirror newspaper published a front-page "How to Stop Him" guide, advising readers on which party to support in closely fought districts to prevent Conservative leader David Cameron from becoming prime minister.

Conservative defence spokesman Liam Fox said the idea "smacks of political bankruptcy".

A Liberal Democrat spokesman said its supporters should ignore Labour overtures. "This is a desperate attempt by Labour to prevent their vote from collapsing," he said.

Date created : 2010-05-05

  • UK ELECTIONS

    Gordon Brown loses support from the Times and the Guardian

    Read more

  • UK ELECTIONS

    Blair hits the campaign trail to support Brown's re-election bid

    Read more

  • UK ELECTIONS

    Brown calls voter 'bigoted woman' in campaign blunder

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)