[Posted 10:16 PM by Daniel Johnson]
First results from the British election indicate that Tony Blair will retain power, but with a much reduced majority. This is probably the result that the electorate wanted. The Tories have gained few votes but many seats, largely thanks to a big swing from Labour to the Liberal Democrats.
The size of the Labour majority is not yet clear, but it is already obvious that the new government will have to make many more concessions.
Not that this will bother Tony Blair much: he knows that there is no alternative for most of his voters, and last night he emphasized that he would listen to the concerns of people who disagree with him on Iraq.
Even if Labour do win comfortably, the Tories will have to evolve to become electable again. If they want to be taken seriously thet will take time to study the London seat of Croydon. Labour should hold on in their key marginal constituencies but the Tories are less predictable.
This result will be seen as a series of local elections, with no clear pattern emerging yet.