Blair Keeps PM Post, but Labour's Grip Weakens

Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair  and Wife Cherie in London

Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie are greeted by well-wishers in London, May 6. Reuters hide caption

itoggle caption Reuters

Tony Blair will begin a historic third term as Britain's prime minister, but his Labour Party lost seats in Parliament in Thursday's national elections, in part because of the British public's misgivings over the Iraq war.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is celebrating a third straight election win. His Labor Party lost about 50 seats in Parliament but maintained a majority.

Prime Minister TONY BLAIR (Britain): We've got to listen to the people and respond wisely and sensibly. But they have made it very clear they wanted to carry on with Labor and not go back to the Tory years.

INSKEEP: Analysts attribute the Labor Party's win to a strong British economy. Some blame the Labor Party's defeats in some districts on a loss of confidence in Blair, triggered by the war in Iraq.

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