Can This Man Beat Blair?

MARTIN RICKET/AP-PA

Conservative party leader Michael Howard

We had excellent results," British Conservative leader Michael Howard said at a postelection rally last week, and he had reason to declare victory: his Tories picked up 38% of the total vote in last week's local elections across England and Wales, according to BBC post-election projections. With the perennial also-ran Liberal Democrats grabbing 29% of the vote, it was Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party that came in third, with just 26% — the first time a British ruling party had fared so poorly. Blair's support for the Iraq war made him so radioactive that he barely campaigned, and Home Secretary...

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