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Britain's Labour Party Woes

The GOP isn't the only political party that has it bad at the moment. Yesterday an ICM poll showed support for Tony Blair's Labour party sinking to a 19-year low in advance of local elections next week. The Tories garned 34% (flat versus last poll), Labour 32% (-5 vs. last poll) and the Lib Dems were at 24% (+3 vs. last poll). The Guardian characterized the Lib Dem showing as "a remarkable improvement for a party mired in scandal at the start of its own leadership election two months ago."

Labour has suffered from, among other things, umseemly revelations involving "cash for peerages" and has been unable to mount an effective attack against new Tory leader David Cameron. In yesterday's Telegraph, Rachel Sylvester panned Labour's most recent round of ads attacking Cameron saying, "Labour's latest campaign shows how little the governing party understands how to take on the new-look Opposition."

Adding to Labour's woes is news that between 1999 and 2006 the government lost track of more than a thousand convicted foriegn criminals (including 3 murderers, 9 rapists and 5 child molesters) who were released from prison and should have been deported but weren't. Labour Home Secretary Charles Clarke tendered his resignation for the second time over the blunder yesterday afternoon and Tony Blair again rejected it.

(Clarke also has drawn fire for this column he penned in The Guardian on Tuesday slamming the press for its "lazy and deceitful" characterizations of the Blair government's efforts to improve national security. The Guardian responds with its own scathing editorial today).

All in all, it's been a very rough go for Blair, Brown and Labour recently - and there don't seem to be indications things will be getting better any time soon.