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Learning English - Words in the News
 
06 May, 2005 - Published 11:34 GMT
 
Labour wins UK election
 
Tony and Cherie Blair

Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has won a third term in office. It's the first time the Labour party movement has won three times in a row. But the Prime Minister's parliamentary majority was significantly reduced. This report from Naomi Grimley:

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As Mr Blair stepped up to a stage to make his victory speech, his supporters chanted "Four more years". They prefer to see this election in very simple terms - they won, and what's more they won for a third time. That's been done before by Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative party, but never by the Labour party.

Even so, Mr Blair's majority has been halved by this result. His advisors admit that the war in Iraq played an important part in that. They think it meant traditional Labour supporters either stayed at home or voted for other candidates. So Mr Blair is promising to listen more to the public and govern "sensibly and wisely".

As for the main opposition party - the Conservatives - it was always unlikely they'd achieve the ten percent swing they needed to win this race but they have made some significant gains in areas like London. And Britain's third party - the Liberal Democrats - have also increased their number of MPs. So the new Labour government has won power but they do so with the lowest share of the popular vote in modern British history.

Naomi Grimley, BBC Political Reporter

Listen to the words

chanted
shouted the same words or phrases again and again

terms
words or expressions

halved
reduced by a half

to govern
to legally control a country or its people

sensibly
trying to make good judgements based on experience and not emotions

swing
a change from one situation to another

made some significant gains
here: largely increased the number of Members of Parliament (MPs)

popular vote
here: the total votes in the election

 
 
 
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