Blair Wins Reelection - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/6/05-London

Blair Wins Reelection

Tony Blair weathered a backlash over the Iraq war to win a historic third term as Prime Minister Friday, but with a reduced majority that could weaken his mandate and prompt him to step aside earlier than he plans.

"It's a tremendous honor and a privilege to be elected for a third term. And I'm acutely conscious of that honor and that privilege," Blair said, speaking outside his Downing Street office. "I know that Iraq has been a deeply divisive issue in this country. ... But I also know and believe that after this election, people want to move on, they want to focus on the future — in Iraq, and here," added Blair, who turned 52 on Friday.

He addressed reporters shortly after returning from Buckingham Palace, where Queen Elizabeth II confirmed him as Prime Minister for a third term.

Labour needed at least 324 seats to form a majority in the 646-seat House of Commons. With 622 seats reporting, Labour had 353 seats; the main opposition Conservatives 196; Liberal Democrats 61; and independents and smaller parties 12. Labour's majority of 161 in the last Parliament had been slashed by almost 100 seats.

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