Saturday 9 May 2015

Post election thoughts

A marker for the future, not anything profound. I wish I'd written down what I thought in 2010, and before. Well, here we are in 2015.

So, the result: a slim Tory majority. Which was totally unexpected: a coalition had been forecast, though it as unclear exactly what coalition.

As I wrote on facebook:

UKIP 3,881,064 votes 1 seat (shafting ratio 1:82); Green 1,156,149 votes 1 seat (SR 1:25); Lib Dem 2,415,862 votes 8 seats (SR 8:51). Everyone else seems to be close to 1:1, except the DUP who have an anti-shafting ratio of 2:1 (and the SNP have an ASR of something like 1.8:1).

For completeness: Tories 11M, seats 331. Labour 9M, seats 232. SNP 1.5M, seats 56.LibDem 2.4M, seats 8.

However, we had the PR referendum a couple of years back and the result was a resounding No, so I can't see anything new happening there; and while plenty of my FB friends are unhappy with the unfairness, well, what's that to the country as a whole? As JE said, roughly: "everyone I know is unhappy with this result, so what does that say about me / my friends?" And the answer, of course, is "not typical of the country as a whole", as indeed I and my friends aren't either. I'd damn well hope not.

In normal times, the result would be uncomplicated: a Tory majority, shrug, nothing new. However, the two big complicating factors are the promised in/out Euro referendum, and the "Scottish problem".

Euro referendum

Cameron promised a year back that, if a Tory govt were elected, there would be a simple in/out referendum vote on the EU. IMHO I think he said that to buy people off, not because he wanted it, and he expected not to have to deliver on it, because he expected to be in coalition. Perhaps you could argue it was a success, in that it bought him some UKIP votes, and secured his majority. But UKIP's support, whilst widespread, only got them one seat. In retrospect buying off UKIP doesn't look too important; a bit less Euroskepticism from Cameron might have lost him a seat or two, to UKIP, but so what? Might even have lost him enough to force another coalition with the LibDems: I'd have welcomed that. In some ways I think Cameron might have, too.

I can find Tories salivating over the prospect of a referendum, which is a sign of trouble ahead. Indeed, that column is already laying the ground work for myth, by claiming this won the election. I don't believe that (see below). Quite what will happen, I don't know. If Cameron sticks to his promise - and I can't see any way he can get out of it - but campaigns along with a substantial part of the Tories for "in", then I'd expect us to stay in, but not decisively. And the "out" Tories to be miffed, but stay on board.


Meh. Scotland, this year, was like England when it didn't elect Kinnock and instead elected Major. Everyone knew it wasn't what we really wanted, but people had done it out of fear / inertia / whatevs. And so next time it was Blair by a landslide. Similarly, after failing to go for Independence through cowardice / sanity / whatevs, Scotland is a bit disgusted with itself and so has had a fit of voting SNP. It will wear off, in time. But they'll need to be bought off; hopefully not with money, they get quite enough of that already. More devolution, perhaps? I couldn't object to that and might even be in favour. I guess the Tories can't just say "screw you, we've got a majority" because if done too blatantly it might piss the Scots off enough to screw up their courage and vote for Independence.

Will they, buoyed by this vote, try for another referendum? Probably not: another No would rather prick the bubble.

What would be deeply amusing / trouble making is some combination of referendum and Scotland. What if the UK voted to leave, but Scotland clearly wanted to stay in? Would that trigger another vote on Independence? I doubt it happens.

What won the election?

The economy I think. I really don't know what got into Miliband: he couldn't see a thing without wanting to subject it to price controls, aiming for a state like Venezula. Idiot. In a sense it was a good thing, because Labour were clearly distinct from the Tories, which was rather less true under Blair.

I don't have a closer and more detailed analysis than that, and I don't think most people voting have, either. Its a mood-music thing.


I voted Green. I always do, if I can. Their economic policies are mad, but never mind, they won't get to try them out so that's OK. Simon Saggers got 6.5% in South Cambs and so retains the deposit, well done. In 2010 there was no Green so I voted Lib Dem, which made no difference locally (S Cambs being securely Tory) but added my tiny bit of support to the coalition.

The Lib Dems

I feel a lot of sympathy for them. They went into coalition, admittedly for the power, but by doing so gave us five years of stability and tempered the Tories somewhat; and the electorate rewarded them for that by gutting them. I think that tells you a lot about the Lib Dem support, and its fickleness. Too much empty-headed wishfullness, who knows how they voted for this time.

My preferred result

Of all the results that could plausibly have happened - i.e., I'm not allowed to wish for me being voted Dictator for life - I'd have preferred another Tory-LibDem coalition. I certainly didn't want Labour to win. A small Tory majority is better than Labour, but not good. People not needing SNP support for a coalition is good.