Ok so it’s now two days after the General Election results began to be announced, and the political fallout has been both immense and fascinating.
You may have seen me blogging about the election as it happenned from the Students’ Union Pub in Southampton and if you didn’t, or have been living under the UK’s largest rock (I’m looking at my fellow geologists here) I urge you to have a look.
For once the exit polls got it pretty close to bang on, with no party gaining the 326 seats needed for an outright majority, and two possible coalition governments as the outcome. One being a majority Lib-Con coalition or Conservative minority with Liberal support, the other being a minority Lib-Lab coalition. The numbers by the way being as follows:
Con: 306 | Lab: 258 | Lib Dem: 57
With only one constituency unannounced (postponed because of the death of the UKIP candidate) though that one is considered a safe Tory seat.
So what’s the fallout then? Well to keep this as brief as I can… The Tories won the majority of the seats and vote-share, something that after the 2005 election I thought just didn’t happen (note sarcasm). Mr Clegg kept to his word about the party with the largest mandate should be allowed to try to form a government first and the Liberals are now in discussion with the Tories to try and come up with a deal.
Labour, despite losing the election in both common definitions and returning with over 90 of their prior MPs now on jobseekers allowance, have held on to the hopes of a Lib-Lab alliance. Even though Clegg will not work with Brown and this would alienate both the largest parliamentary party and their share of the electorate, also it would result in a minority government which could be overturned at a moments notice if enough people decided it was a bad idea (it would only take the Tories and the Nationalists). Speaking of the nationalists Gordon has managed to piss them off by dismissing them outright… not a good sign if they do the Lib-Lab thing!
Added into this already fermenting vintage is the calls – now more vocal than ever – for a change to the electoral system, with extraordinary scenes outside the Lib-Dem temporary HQ of over 1,000 people demonstrating in favour of Proportional Representation, something that the grass-roots Tory party would rather not contemplate.
On which note… I as a conservative (little C until I renew my party membership… if I do) cannot understand this as if PR were in place, vote-share would be more important, and in the 2005 election at least, the Tory vote share was the highest, handing the then leader Michael Howard the keys to No. 10… although in coalition with someone. Hay-ho… this is British Politics for you, Generational Ping-Pong between those who grow up under a Tory Government and those who grow up under a Labour one.
oh it’s been an interesting couple of days… and it looks like there’ll be more to come!
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