Posts Tagged ‘General Election 2015’

UK election night entertainment

May 7, 2015

It should be an interesting next few hours as real results come in. If the main exit poll proves to be correct then it will be quite a coup for David Cameron and a mighty success for Nicola Sturgeon. It will be a humiliating fiasco for Nick Clegg and a great relief to the markets that “Red” Moses Milibrand has a bloody nose. But The YouGov exit poll shows quite different results.


0530CET: It does look as if the Tories will have 5 -10 seats more than in 2010 and that might be just enough (312 – 317 seats with 323 needed for an effective majority) to try running with a minority government.

The markets will be not too unhappy though the SNP’s clean sweep (almost) in Scotland and their almost communistic tendencies could be a bit worrying. On the other hand the Scots could never be as profligate as Greece has been.

It’s time for a nap before breakfast.


0430 CET: Ed Davey has lost his seat. He must take the prize for knowing less about energy and energy production than any other Energy Minister – other than a former Energy Minister of the UP government . Davey also had the remarkable ability to always ask the wrong questions.

0400CET: Mhairi Black of the SNP is the youngest MP since 1667. She thrashed her Labour opponent. (But at 20 years old, we know that she is formally still an adolescent since her prefrontal cortex will not be fully developed till she is about 25)!

Great campaigns – giving great defeats? It is amazing how every Labour or Lib Dem spokesperson talks about how Miliband and Clegg have both run “fantastic campaigns” but have produced a fiasco in the one case and a melt-down in the other.

0330 CET:  There is talk of both Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband resigning tomorrow. It would be appropriate if Russel Brand also retired from public life  – at least for a few weeks.

If Farage also loses then he will also have to go.

Sturgeon and Cameron the winners.

The Tories may be just short of a majority on their own

Some polls are going to be proven quite wrong.

The UKIP bubble would have burst.

The Pound strengthened by 1% on the eit poll.

Cameron could still just have a majority with the Lib Dems but the Lib Dems would be a very junior partner indeed.

But this is only an exit poll and there is a long – and hopefully entertaining – night ahead.

The election campaign had few fireworks and all the entertainment value is concentrated around the results.

A little bit like the Eurovision Song Contest. No substance in the songs or the singers and all the excitement in the counting of the result.

Will the UK Lib-Dems go the way of the German FDP?

September 26, 2013

Last Sunday’s election results were an unmitigated disaster for the FDP in Germany. Historically – and going back to 1949 – it was unprecedented. They have no seats in the Bundestag for the first time. Sharing power in government has not helped them.

(All charts from Wikipedia)

FDP seats won

FDP vote percentage

There is a parallel to be drawn with the UK though the German proportional representation system has generally been kinder to the FDP than the UK “first past the post” system has been to the Liberal Democrats. But when times are bad the PR system of Germany is also more ruthless. The FDP dropped from an all- time high of 14.6% of the vote in 2009 to 4.8% last Sunday. The Lib-Dems were at 23% in 2010 and are currently at 10%.

File:LibDem vote-seat percent.PNG

Votes and seats won by the Lib-Dems

Today’s modern Lib-Dem party is not quite the Liberal party of old. In my youth I read about the great days of the Liberal party of Gladstone and Lloyd George (and even the young Winston Churchill). I thought quite highly of Jo Grimond and David Steele. But the merger of the Liberals – proposed by David Steele – with the break-away Social Democrats  from the right of the Labour party in 1988 has created a strange animal which has no true identity of its own. Like the ancient chimera with the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a snake the Lib-Dems today try to combine mutually repellent ideologies and produce rather confused, fascistic do-gooders. With figures like Nick Clegg, Chris Huhne (now disgraced), Vince Cable and Ed Davey in their ranks they are enjoying their moment in the sun but are suffering from the twin fantasies that the tail wags the dog and that they know best what is good for others.

That their time in government supporting the Tories will be to their electoral detriment in the next general election seems very likely. Whether they will be wiped out like the FDP is unlikely in the British system but a comprehensive collapse is not inconceivable. Like the FDP which participated in a government dominated by Angela Merkel, the Lib-Dems are propping up but are totally dominated by Cameron’s conservatives.

Like the FDP, the Lib-Dems now run the risk of forcing their normally middle-of-the-road base towards the left or the right.  Like in the FDP, their traditional supporters in academia and the education system and the welfare services are going to move leftwards as the Lib-Dems give in to the Tories (with student tuition fees for example and for Helath Service cuts). The Lib-Dems have been the “green” face of this government but Cameron has been quite adept at using them for cover (as Angela Merkel has also done with the FDP). The disastrous cost of the renewable energy policies in Germany and the UK are seen as being more the fault of the Greens/FDP in Germany and of the Lib-Dems in Britain. Their ususal support among the environmental “do-gooders” is likely to shift leftwards for the moderates and greenwards for the more extreme. The traditional support from small shop keepers and small businesses is likely to shift rightwards.  The NSA scandal has hit the civil liberties image of the FDP as being a colluding party within the ruling government and so also for the Lib-Dems.  The support of The Guardian for the Lib-Dems can be compared to that of Die Zeit and Der Tagesspiegel for the FDP.

The general election in the UK is due in May 2015 (Scotland independence referendum intervening in 2014) and this gives the Lib-Dems 18 months to demonstrate that they have an agenda of their own. But this requires them to repudiate much of what they have agreed to while in government and will lead to a level of schizophrenia.

My guess is that the Lib-Dems will be reduced to less than the 10% they are currently polling at (from the 23% they had in the 2010 election). Philipp Rösler has just resigned as the FDP chairman. Nick Clegg will need to do the same in 2015 – though one could argue that the Lib-Dems might do better if they got rid of him before the election. They could do with a leader who is not as light-weight as Clegg or tainted as being Cameron’s poodle (but who?).

They will probably slip behind UKIP who are also at about the same 10% level but seem to be imploding. 2015 then will be a straight Tory-Labour fight. Neither Cameron or Milliband are particularly impressive as leaders. And so it will be a battle to see who is better at losing. And Milliband may be the more prone to losing an election.

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