Irish Republican News · May 2, 2007
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
SNP within reach of historic victory

Campaigning is today drawing to a close in the British local elections which could see Scottish nationalists become the largest group in the devolved Scottish parliament at Holyrood.

Millions of voters are set to go to the polls tomorrow across England, Scotland and Wales, and all the signs are that they are determined to give Tony Blair a kicking in his final elections before he quits as Prime Minister.

Blair has promised to leave within weeks, but that -- and promises that his successor will be Gordon Brown, a Scot -- may not prevent the party suffering a massive setback in Scotland, where opposition to Blair’s war in Iraq is greatest.

Two separate surveys this morning suggested there may be only a seat or two between the Scottish National Party and Labour when the results are announced. A victory for the SNP could herald a move towards Scottish independence.

In Wales, Labour is fighting to regain control of the national Assembly in Cardiff, which it lost in 2005. There is little doubt Labour will remain the largest single party at Cardiff, but it may lose enough seats to allow a combination of the nationalist Plaid Cymru party and others to form a coalition and remove it from power.

In England, Mr Blair’s party is simply hoping to keep down the number of seats it loses on councils up and down the country. Predictions are that Labour could lose as many as 750 of the 2,385 seats it is defending, and the party’s control of authorities such as Sheffield, Blackpool, Lincoln, Plymouth and Blackburn with Darwen is under threat.

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© 2007 Irish Republican News