Election results

In Scotland, the elections on Thursday have seen significent changes to the composition opf the Scotish parliament. Not unexpectedly, the SNP gained 20 more seats giving it a total of 47. The result also placews the SNP slightly ahed of Labour, which goes down 4 seats to 46. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats each dropped a seat each to 17 and 16 respectivly. The small parties sufered heavily with the Greens going down from 7 seats to 2, and the Scotish Socialists lost  all 4 of their seats, and Solidarity both ofthe two seats they previously held. The number of independents were cut from 5 to 1. This should lead to some interesting coalition negotiations. In order to govern, both the SNP and Labour need two of the Greens, Conservatives and Lib Democrats. The Greens and SNP have a fair amount of common ground including joint opposition to nuclear power and support for a independence referendum. However the Liberal Democrats will not work with the SNP, labbeling the indepence referenda (which the Liberals Democrats strongly oppose) a “fundamental barier” (source http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6631053.stm ). There are also a large number of spoiled ballot papers which could mean the result may be legally challenged.

Meanwhile  France also went to the polls lately. Yesterday, with an 85% turnout, French voters elected Nicholas Sarkozy has been elected president, with 53% of the vote. The election was a classical left vs right battle with Sarkozy promising to cut taxes by 4%, allowing people to work more than 35 hours per week if they wish, and get tough on crime. This will ba paid for by cutting the civil service, which take up a stafgering 45% of Frances national government. Given the serious state of Frances current  economic problems, incluing little economic growth and high unemployment, one can only help these policies will put France back on the right track.

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