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We’ll see

Five days ago, I made an election prediction, that we would see a small Tory majority.

Given what the polls are saying, that might seem more than a little rash, given also that the polls usually get more or less right.

But as Sky News keep saying, this is an election unlike any other. In 2010, the two-party system became three, and today it appears to have become five, maybe even five and a quarter if you add the Green element. This has come about because of the absence of a credible leader in any party other than the SNP, which contests less than one tenth of the 650 seats.

Five years ago, David Cameron became Prime Minister because the voters disliked him less than they disliked Gordon Brown, old Captain Barbossa, as I will never tire of calling him. The electorate couldn’t bring itself to give him outright power, so it hung a millstone round its neck in the form of the Lib Dems, the greatest argument against televised leadership debates that any country has yet put forward.

Today nothing much has changed. Cameron has made no friends, but fewer enemies than might have been expected. Miliband is the least likeable Labour leader that I can recall, and his personal approval ratings prove it. Clegg is a hollow man who will only keep his seat, if he does, because of Tory tactical voting. Of the newcomers Farage is a bumbling caricature of an English nationalist geezer, not that far apart in philosophy from the BNP, and Natalie Bennett of the Greens is so unimpressive that her party is thinking of changing its name to the Greys.

Then there’s Nicola Sturgeon, of the SNP, whose moment this most certainly is. She has been far and away the most impressive leader of this campaign, and yet even she is on a hiding to nothing. The media and the pollsters are predicting over fifty SNP members of the new Westminster parliament. George Kerevan has my postal vote already in East Lothian, where I expect him to be elected. If he has more than twenty-nine parliamentary colleagues on Friday, I will be pleased and surprised, but anything less than those fifty seats will be portrayed as a failure by Sturgeon by the same media who have been building her up.

But let’s forget Scotland for a while and look south. There the polls show Labour with less than one third of popular support, where one would expect them to be after five years of ineffectual opposition under an unloved leader. The Tories are not doing much better, with a lead of around three per cent at best. The unknown quantity in England is UKIP, which scores around 15%, way ahead of Clegg’s Lib Dems, who could be heading back to the Grimond days of half dozen MPs.

There is no groundswell that will sweep Miliband into Downing Street. The electorate doesn’t want him. But does it want another coalition, or a completely unpredictable nature?

The outcome will depend on how many of those people who have declared for UKIP to the pollsters, can actually bring themselves to cast their vote for Farage and his Band of Idiots, whose raison d’être is undercut by Cameron’s pledge of an In-Out EU referendum. Will one in six out of every English voters do that? I don’t believe they will.

Categories: Politics
  1. Justin Fayre
    May 6, 2015 at 8:41 am

    To misquote Thomas Jefferson – of US Declaration of Independence fame.

    When the People fear the Government we have Tyranny.
    When the Government fear the People we have Comedy.

  2. dvhogg
    May 8, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Not too far off the mark QJ….. Now just wait for F.F.A to be given to Scotland then it will be very interesting perhaps something like a timeshare show when it all sounds wonderful until the bit at the end when the bill needs paid, at that point self preservation kicks in and you bail. Thought David Davis summed it up well when he called the devolution process a complaint factory implying that things would change when Scotland had to raise its own funds to match its spending ambitions. Anyway back to my original point you weren’t far off.

  3. May 8, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    LOL, big Dave. I have been to that timeshare sales pitch. The counter is that David Davis never got anything right in his political life, possibly not even the spelling of his own name.

    I suspect that the truth lies in the depth of the unexpected,. Nicola Salmond never expected 56 seats and DC didn’t expect an overall majority. I refer you to the great Redford/Peter Boyle movie, The Candidate, and its last line, along the lines of ‘What the **** do we do now?’

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