58% of the electorate will have local elections as well on May 22
In all the time that Tony Blair led the LAB party there was only one set of national elections where victory eluded him – the 1999 and 2004 contests for the European Parliament.
He didn’t like that in the least and ahead of the 2004 contest he went to extraordinary lengths to win.
First he changed what had been the standard practice and decided to put back the local elections for a month so that turnout would be boosted.
Then he introduced, against much opposition, an all postal vote election in large parts of England.
On top of that he did a deal with the then independent Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, to be the official party candidate even though another person was in place.
All this was to no avail and on June 10th 2004 the Tories came out top on votes.
The mass postal voting was not allowed to be repeated but Blair’s timetabling change, which was highly controversial at the time, has remained ever since.
And if, and it looks touch and go based on current polling, LAB does come out on top then EdM can thank Tony.
For 58% of voters nationally on May 22nd will have local elections on the same day. These are concentrated in areas of Labour strength and this should help the red team get its vote out for the Euro election,