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Friday, May 06, 2005

NEWS: UK Election conclusions

Another four years has come and gone and the people of the UK have spoken...well at least 61% of the electorate made their voices heard. This apparently represents only a 2% increase on the lowest turnout recorded in 2001.

Why the apathy? Perhaps voters are not inspired by the choices available and when they want to vote for anyone but the Tories or Labour they are told they are wasting their votes and letting the other in by the back door. All parties should not need to tell the people who to vote for...their policies should do that. When policies fail to win people over the parties (apart from the Lib Dems to be fair) start to beg for votes. All parties should just get people to vote for whoever their conscience dictates.

Also, perhaps if we had citizenship lessons reintroduced into schools then perhaps more of our youth would feel engaged.

The result? Well, this is what City Hippy predicted prior to the election:

In reality Labour will win a historic third term with just enough of a slim majority, to form a shaky ergo more accountable government which will mean plenty of power-sharing.

The Tories will (re)gain some lost seats and the Lib Dems will gain the most, almost certainly proportionally more than the Tories, ultimately closing the gap between the big three.

If this scenario happens I would love to see a coalition between Labour and the Lib Dems...give the Lib Dems the environment and development portfolios and PR etc...that would be enough for me.

Either way the Lib Dems will come out of this election with sharper teeth and will use them at every occasion.

Now we were not alone and that prediction seemed to be widely held. It is nice to know though that we have got our fingers more or less on the pulse of the nation. Of course Labour did not get as small a minority as we would have liked and their will be no coalition. However, Labour will need to rely on the Lib Dems (and the other smaller groups) more than ever to support bills when rebellion from within combined with Tory block-voting threatens to defeat a motion.

Ultimately only the Lib Dems have come out of this election smiling. Check out this comment we recently left on the Kennedy Campaign blog.

The next four years should see the most active, challenging and radical session of parliamentary democracy we have witnessed since before Maggie Thatcher seized power in 1979.

Why? Because both the Tories and the Lib Dems have gained seats at the expense of the Labour party, who, with a severly reduced majority, will find it much tougher to pass legislation regardless of any other parties opinion.

That can only mean better governance for Britain and better behaviour towards the rest of the world.

Our post-election analysis:

Labour lost 47 seats
The Tories gained 33 seats
The Lib Dems gained 11 seats

In terms of proportional results against 2001:
Labour lost approximately 12% of its 2001 total
The Tories increased its 2001 total by approximately 20%
The Lib Dems increased its 2001 total by approximately 22%

In terms of popular vote proportionally against 2001:
Labour fell approximately 5.5% to 35.2%
The Tories gained approximately 0.6% to 32.3%
The Lib Dems soared approximately 3.8% to 22.1%

Are you thinking what we're thinking? Britain forward not back seems to be heading for a real alternative indeed!



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At 9:37 PM, Blogger Brett said...

Any time a government is in the position of the Labour party they risk collapse and so I'm not so sure we should be entirely optimistic for a radical alteration of politics. Sure, some hands will shake and deals will be made, but it will still be fragile. I'm here in Canada right now, and we see clearly what is happening to the Liberals with their shaky foundation as the Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois threaten to topple the government. But periodic change in who rules is generally a good thing. Keeps the egos in check and guards against abuses.

At 10:55 PM, Blogger City Hippy said...

Hey Brett...

Good points...

I think that the Labour party have never been on such shaky ground though...

Surely that could only mean more compromise with other parties which should in turn lead to a wider agenda being pressed.


I agree that when you have the same mainstream parties in power and vying for power then letting them get entrenched makes things even worse. Better to keep them on their toes and shaken all the time.

Personally I can see Labour voters flocking to the Lib Dems in the next election...and maybe even before in the Local elections. Primarily because the Lib Dems are now the party of the Left which was vacated by the Labour party in their scramble for centrist populism.

What's that quote about everything containing the seed of its own destruction...

Interesting times ahead.


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