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World in Brief / BRITAIN

Local votes seen as test for Brown

May 02, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

A gaffe-prone former journalist and a left-wing incumbent faced off in London's mayoral race, which could gauge Prime Minister Gordon Brown's chances of winning Britain's next national election.

A defeat for Mayor Ken Livingstone would end the Labor Party's near-decade of control in London and further loosen Brown's grip on power.

The municipal elections in England and Wales will be read as a test of Brown's popularity across Britain and a guide to his party's chances in an election expected in 2009 or 2010.

Some polls gave former journalist Boris Johnson, the Conservative Party's candidate, a slight lead.

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