I don’t blog about politics very often, but there is a general election coming up in the UK in May. I’ve always said that to have a change of government, with a good majority, you need two things:
- For the incumbent to be very unpopular
- For the challenger to be very popular
Only one of those things is happening now, and so the outcome of the election is almost certainly going to be a hung parliament, again.
Voters would like to think that their vote really matters, in reality most of them don’t. Only the Tories or Labour can win this election, all the other parties are also-rans.
Take the seat of Gateshead for instance. Last time, 2010, Labour’s Ian Mearns won the seat with a majority of 12,549, and that’s just his majority, he polled 20,712 votes in total. He got 54% of the vote, more than all the other candidates put together, with votes to spare.
So who do you think is going to win Gateshead this time? The Greens? Farage? No. It’ll be Labour again, of course it will. The Tories have their safe seats as well, but there aren’t enough of these ‘heartland’ seats to guarantee any party a win.
This election, as always, will be won in the marginals. Nothing has changed there, but what has changed since last time is the differing fortune of the also-rans. Nick Clegg’s days in power are over, that’s for sure. The Lib Dems have lost so much ground and are now so unpopular that some of their ‘star’ MP’s, like Danny Alexander for instance, could lose their seats. The SNP could easily take seats off Labour in Scotland. The Greens will stay largely where they are, as little more than an amusement, but it is UKIP, of course, who have gained the most.
So the question is, who will Cameron or Miliband be offering a seat to on the government benches? Nigel Farage for deputy prime minister? Stranger things have happened.
One thing, though, is absolutely guaranteed. Who ever wins and forms the next government, they will promise much, and they will let us down. They will waste our money, not achieve what they said they would, increase taxes and pay themselves more. History tells us that they all do that, and they do. So whoever wins is largely irrelevant, it will be just more of the same disappointment for us all.