Major Surgery

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LONDON: The Conservatives' eighteen-year rule appeared to be ending with exit polls showing Tony Blair's Labour party cruising to a landslide victory in Britain's parliamentary elections. Early projections show Labour walking away with 409 seats, Tories with 177 seats and Liberal Democrats with 45 seats. If these estimates hold, it would mean an enormous 232-seat majority for Labour and the worst showing of the century for Conservatives. "There's this enormous feeling in Britain that the Tories have been around too long and itís time for a change, and that's extraodinarily powerful," reports TIME London bureau chief Barry Hillenbrand. "Secondly, even though they have turned the economy around, the Conservatives have ruined their economic reputation by doing such things as devaluating sterling. The Tories have tried to run on their economic record with the slogan 'Britain is Booming: don't let Labour ruin it.' It seems not to have had too much effect. Although the economy is doing well, Majorís not getting the credit."