Pass the crisps: UK Election watch

497 Responses

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  • stephen walker,

    thanks Craig.

    Did I miss anyone out?

    well, the guardian has a figure of 27 for OTH, and your list accounts for 24.

    you obviously missed the Green Party (1).

    as for the other two, i've no idea...

    anyway, interesting. either way, NewLab + LibDem + OTH just does not cut the mustard in terms of getting a majority (unless nearly all the OTH sign up, which is highly unlikely). so, it's either Tory + LibDem majority govt. or a minority Tory govt. with conditional agreement from LibDem. almost sorted, eh?

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    you obviously missed the Green Party (1)

    Indeed I did. Fairly safe assumption that Caroline Lucas won't be taking the Conservative whip in this or any other lifetime. :)

    Alliance deputy leader Naomi Long "Portilloed" Peter Robinson in East Belfast. The party has close relations with the Lib-Dems, but again I'm not sure they'd want to formalise that in any way since they position themselves as a non-sectarian and centerist party.

    And finally, Ultster Unionist defector Sylvia Hermon retained the Northern Irish constituency of North Down as an independent. Considering the reason why she bolted in the first place, I suspect she will be a Brown Babe. :)

    But you're quite right. Unless there's 21 dramatic upsets still to come, I don't see the math giving Cameron or Brown a good nights sleep.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Still who wouldn't love the sheer theatre of Gordon Brown putting together a six way coalition. And that only even begins to be workable if Labour or the Lib-Dems pick up every one of the 18 seats still to declare.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    BBC:

    But the Tory leader will have to tread carefully over any discussions about proportional representation (PR).
    Many Tory MPs would strongly oppose any deal that paves the way for PR. So Mr Cameron gave the Lib Dems the carefully-worded offer of an "all party committee of inquiry on political and electoral reform".
    Even talking about such reforms may be a step too far for some Tories. One told me: "The party offering PR has just come third in this election. Why should we agree to something the voters have rejected."

    LOL!

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Haha. I am sure we all remember that PR referendum Blair held after the Jenkin's Report and before the referendum on the EU. You'd have to be a fool to forget those!

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I agree that the smart move for LibDem is to agree to minority govt with their support, on the carefully negotiated proviso of a referendum on PR, very early on. If this doesn't eventuate, pull the pin on the government and go to the polls again. Then when the time comes they basically push the point to everyone but the Tories that if PR were the system, they would be part of the government right now. There would be a very good chance of Labour having hung onto power with these numbers.

    Basically only the Tories benefit from FPP. Which is hardly surprising, considering they've been the party of power since the English first started acting like a democracy. It's long overdue that this class clique stops running a country that has long since lost any real pretensions of Empire. Same comment for the other class clique (workers) too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Kim Hill's British commentator from the Guardian has just described the Lib Dems as "a party that lost votes and lost seats".

    Sigh ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    That dreadful Stroud woman, she who drove out people's homosexual demons, didn't win her electorate.

    And the Conservatives didn't get the pink vote in general:

    Despite David Cameron's apology last year for section 28 and his recent claims that his party had "been on a journey" in its attitude to gay rights, successive polls by PinkNews.co.uk, Europe's largest gay news site, found Tory allegiance among its readers down from 39% last June to 9% days before the election. Comments in March by Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, that he had sympathy for B&B owners who turn away gay customers, provoked a fall from 25% to 20%.

    Several Tory candidates accused of homophobia during the campaign did less well than hoped in their constituencies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Interesting range of views on the failure of the Lib Dems' intelligent, secularist MP Dr Evan Harris to hold his seat.

    Nature's blogger is in mourning:

    Evan Harris, the Lib Dem MP for Oxfordshire and West Abingdon, had been considered a strong advocate for science in the last parliament. Many science watchers privately speculated that if a hung parliament resulted in a Lib Dem coalition with another major party, Harris could end up with the job of science minister.

    Instead Harris, and several other science-minded Lib Dem candidates, lost their seats (at the moment, the party is actually five seats down from the last parliament). Harris lost in a squeaker to Nicola Blackwood, the Conservative candidate and a trained singer (you can hear her victory crowing on BBC Oxford).

    Mark Henderson over at the Times didn't pull any punches, calling the election a "terrible night" for science in the UK.

    And the Telegraph's oafish "Religion Editor" is gloating:

    I’ve been travelling all day, so only just had the chance to welcome some of the best news of the past 24 hours. As Margaret Thatcher would say: Rejoice, rejoice. “Dr” Evan Harris, nominally of the Lib Dems, lost his seat in Oxford West and Abingdon. I have repeatedly said here that I hoped the good voters of Oxford would come to their senses by ejecting him and, hallelujah, evidently they have.

    A stranger to principle, Harris has coat-tailed some of the most vulnerable and weak people available to him to further his dogged, secularist campaign to have people of faith – any faith – swept from the public sphere.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I see our very own Cactus Kate is offering electoral reform - take away the vote from anyone who disagrees with the Tories.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Basically only the Tories benefit from FPP.

    Oh, "basically" that's crap -- Labour has (and does) benefit enormously from FPP. Or have I missed that Labour's share of the popular vote was only six points more than the Libs, but Labour won almost five times as many seats?

    While Brown might be willing to (kinda) support PR I suggest it's as much of a minefield for him as it is for Cameron.

    Or that, in 2005, Labour won a majority of 66 with only ONE PERCENT more of the popular vote than the Tories scored last night?

    You're perfectly entitled to say the Tories suck butt in your view, and FPP needs to go. But don't try and re-code the Matrix while you're about it.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Interesting range of views on the failure of the Lib Dems' intelligent, secularist MP Dr Evan Harris to hold his seat.

    Oxford West and Abingdon was one of the big WTF? moments for me -- at least on paper, Harris should have held that sear fairly comfortably even after boundary changes. Oxford East was also a Labour-LD marginal that should have been ripe for the picking (it was #4 on their target list), but Andrew Smith actually increased his majority of a substantial swing to Labour.

    I guess the dreaming spires turned out to be a bit of a nightmare for the Lib-Dems. But that seemed to be happening all over -- and in the most unexpected ways -- to everyone.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Wikipedia already has a comprehensive entry for the election with all relevant statistics of percentages, numbers of seats won and lost and an electoral map.

    (Amazing how close the three main parties were in New Zealand terms.)

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report Reply

  • anth,

    Apparently Labour are doing well at the local level, the minor parties are sufferring.
    Summary from a comment on another blog

    Since Nov 2006 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Can we all take a moment to rejoice in the woeful performance of the BNP?

    Mr Griffin, however, vowed not to resign, saying: "I would say this to the people of Britain: it is going to be too late for Barking but it is not too late for Britain. Get rid of your masters before they get rid of us."

    Sadly however this early report makes me wonder if the success of the Barking rout may have hinged on Labour gently dog-whistling in tune with the BNP's anti-foreign messages. A bit icky to say the least.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    If anything, the Lib Dems might be smarter to not not do a coalition deal with anyone -- but actually walk the talk and publicly lay out the circumstances under which they'd pull the plug on any government without batting an eyelid..

    I suspect that's the most likely outcome, if only because neither Brown nor Cameron are in a very strong position.

    Brown because of his poor performance in government recently, his bad campaign, and the fact that a fair chunk of his party have been scheming over who gets the leadership after this election for over a year now.

    Cameron because he's managed to blow what looked like, only a few months ago, an unloseable election.

    Brown or Cameron have to be able to take their respective parties with them in any deal. And right now neither of them have huge clout.

    Cameron more than Brown because he's got a party behind him which would rather like to be in power again - 13 years is a long time. But could he take his party with him on PR? I very much doubt it.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    hinged on Labour gently dog-whistling in tune with the BNP's anti-foreign messages. A bit icky to say the least.

    Hang on, isn't inclusive democracy all about listening to aggrieved minorities? If we think of the democratic body politic as an organic. living and evolving beast, then surely gently listening, addressing the source of complaint and ultimately ttherefore defanging extremists is the equivalent of a vaccination? To think otherwise is to make you no better than that petulent looney tune Cactus Kate, who thinks democracy is best served by excluding anyone who doesn't agree with you.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    More on Labour's surprisingly strong performance in the local body elections:

    Labour looks set to come top in terms of councils and seats won in the local elections held in England on Thursday.

    So far, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have lost four councils each, with Labour making a net gain of 14.

    The polls, held at the same time as the general election, include those for 32 London boroughs, 36 metropolitan authorities and 20 unitary authorities.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    off-thread aside...
    Commonsense returns to Little Britain
    News today from our own Little Britain - a.k.a. Christchurch - Panel throws out Arts Centre plan

    One down, now to see the mere Bob Parker off...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    off-thread aside II...
    Another commonsense sensation!
    Forget the creaky Greek economy, at last a call for a certain Middle East nation to be tasked on clarifying its unclear nuclear status

    It's up to you not to heed the Roundup©...
    Hell at this rate even a story like this might make people think a little deeper and longer about food production techniques...

    Now back to the Brit cartoon caper Tory Story: Pollarity Flip ...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Cameron because he's managed to blow what looked like, only a few months ago, an unloseable election.

    Oh come on -- First, there's no such thing as an unloseable election especially if you're too thick to realise just how dangerous complacency is. Second, anyone who seriously believed that the polls six months back were going to translate into a uniform 15-20% swing to the Tories needs to spend some time getting their meds sorted.

    I note the Earl Gray Teabaggers are already talking up the utter failure of the Cameroons and that it's now time for the Conservative Party to take the great leap backwards. The disregard for political reality (not least that we've had fifteen years of Tory leaders pandering to the hard right and leading their parties to landslide defeats), and the pragmatic genuinely conservative history of their own party, is rather depressing. The only thing worse than bad losers are graceless winners -- and I think a little acknowledgement of what Cameron has achieved would be nice.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Craig, I hear you. Cameron did a lot to make the Tries electable, much as Blair did Labour after the long years in the wilderness (Although I now find myself appalled by video of Blair speaking back then, and I can't help but wonder how it might have been had John Smith lived to become Prime Minister.)

    But I think there's a sense in which the Thatcher era still hurts her party. I lived there during part of it and it's genuinely hard to express the alienation she engendered in a large part of the electorate. Her with-us-or-against-us philosophy was hugely socially destructive.

    I fancy there's still some of that lingering in Scotland especially, where the Tories are now down to a single MP. She treated the Scots like shit -- even if there was a need to do something about Scotland's uneconomic shipyards and mines, her utter lack of empathy with the people those decisions affected hasn't been forgotten.

    You really felt like Thatcher hated you back then. I have never felt schadenfreude like I did when her colleagues finally tired of her madness and put her on notice.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    But I think there's a sense in which the Thatcher era still hurts her party.

    Oh, you're right -- but to be quite blunt, I roll my eyes at a son of the manse cashing Lord Sainsbury's cheques and playing the class warrior. (I'd also note that Nick Clegg wasn't exactly educated at Grange Hill either.)

    For all the sneering about Cameron being a "Tory toff", I'd really like people to think about what happens if the people who desperately want him to fail ever get the keys to 10 Downing Street. (And don't be naive enough to assume it would never happen. We are living in a world where Sarah Palin is still taken seriously.) I promise you might end up looking back at that uppity little shopkeeper's daughter and thinking she wasn't so bad after all.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Her with-us-or-against-us philosophy was hugely socially destructive

    I guess that's easy on the conscience if you don't believe there's any such thing as society

    Earl Gray Teabaggers

    nice

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, and taking my own advice I have to offer a reality-based withdrawal and apology for thinking that Clegg would never keep his word and negotiate in good faith with the Tories in the first instance if they had the most seats and/or won the popular vote.

    Clanger dropped, and looks like I'm going to make another one tomorrow evening. I really thought, one way or another, the result would be decisive enough to have a government in view. Won't be buying a lotto ticket for a while...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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