Decision time in Britain

BRITAIN goes to the polls on May 5. When Prime Minister Tony Blair unveiled the poll schedule earlier this week, on April 5 to be precise, he didn't surprise anyone, least of all British voters. The Britons had been expecting an early May poll for quite some and the political parties were accordingly preparing themselves for the big showdown.

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Published: Fri 8 Apr 2005, 11:44 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:27 PM

However, what came as a big shock to many including Blair's governing Labour party was the forecast by four opinion poll surveys. Sponsored by the top UK dailies, the opinion polls, which were conducted the day Blair announced the polls, have painted a very disturbing picture for Blair's party. Pollsters are united in their opinion that the Labour's lead over the opposition Conservatives has been dangerously reduced. According to an ICM poll for The Guardian, Labour's lead over the opposition has been cut from eight to three points. It's a neck-and-neck race now.

Which means Blair's winning prospects and his hopes of getting re-elected for a third time have been considerably affected. This surely is a wake-up call for the prime minister and his party. It has come rather late in the day though. But has it? The writing on the wall had been quite clear. The signs of the British voters' growing impatience with Blair and his policies had been there for quite some time. Only the PM, in his smug indifference, chose to ignore them. Public memory may be notoriously short but people seldom forget or forgive when they're taken for a ride. The PM has had a problem with people's trust in his leadership since he repeatedly lied to the British people over Iraq. Now it is time for people's verdict on Blair. The moment of truth is neigh.

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