New Election Loss Could Be Knock-Out Punch for Brown
Tory takes vacancy in industrial district
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2008 2:32 AM CDT
Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown walks past the logo for the London 2012 Olympics during a visit to the main stadium site in east London yesterday.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The crushing defeat for the Labor Party yesterday in an election in a working class district of England could spell disaster for Prime Minister Gordon Brown, reports the Guardian. The opposition Tory candidate beat the ruling party choice in a by-election to fill a death vacancy by a whopping margin in the decaying northern England industrial town of Crewe—the kind of place considered a bedrock of Labor support.

The vote was seen as a crucial test of Brown's popularity. With the loss coming on the heels of heavy Labor defeats in recent local elections, there are rumblings in the ranks that there could be no way back for Brown. Some think moves to oust the leader could already be under way by the time the party holds its annual conference this fall.