The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1996Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Mr Major’s Comments on the Local Election Results (II) – 3 May 1996

Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments on the local election results, made in 10 Downing Street on 3rd May 1996.


[Mr Major was asked his view on the local election results and whether he should call a General Election now].


Well, what is over of course, is the last opportunity to protest. That is of course, significantly, what we have seen over the last few elections and of course, in by-elections. But I think that there are some things that people ought to observe about yesterday’s election. Of course, 28 per cent and that result was very disappointing for us. I don’t hide that for a second and I am very disappointed for those councillors who had served their communities well and lost their seats. But at a time when the Government has been facing difficult problems, when the Labour Party are absolutely riding high, when many of the elections where in metropolitan areas, Labour only polled 43 per cent, exactly the same poll that the Conservative Party got at the last general election, in the midst of a recession.

I think there is everything to play for between now and the next general election. We need the time between now and then because there is a great deal to be done. The economy is changing quite significantly. I don’t think anyone outside the United Kingdom doubts the potential strength of the British economy or the way it has improved and it competitiveness. There’s nowhere else in western Europe where you see the combination of inflation, well below 3 per cent, unemployment falling in the way that it has done here, growth here and a country taking other countries markets because it is efficient effective and competitive. That is what’s happening in the United Kingdom.