Election ’10: The aftermath

May 8, 2010

“The Country has spoken!!!………. We just don’t know what they’ve said.”

- Lord Ashcroft

So whilst Britain still has no Government, and talks remain underway between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives on the possibility of a coalition, there is at least one happy moment we can all share in.
Nick Griffin, the leader of the British Nazi Party has spent the past month campaigning relentlessly in the constituency where he was standing; Barking. They expected their first BNP seat in the commons. The result?
Labour’s Margaret Hodge: 53.4% of the Vote
Conservative’s Simon Marcus: 17.8% of the vote
BNP’s Nick Griffin: 14.6% of the vote.
They came third. Not only that, but 1.6% of the BNP vote from 2005, swung to Labour.
The BNP contested 326 seats at this election. 207 more than 2005, and yet, their share of the overall vote only increased by less than 2% overall. That’s horrendous.

Margaret Hodge, and Labour, absolutely destroyed the BNP in Barking. But, that’s not the end of the smug look on my evil liberal pro-multicultural face this morning…..
The BNP, on Friday, lost all twelve of their seats previously held on Barking and Dagenham Council. It would seem that the big push the BNP were going to make, failed miserably. Good. We don’t want Fascists.

Anyway, back in the realm of reality (reality tends to have a liberal bias), I stayed up all night on election night hoping to see a few big named casualties. There was no Portillo ’97 moment as such. Although seeing Jacqui Smith lose Redditch, was quite pleasing. As was watching Lembit Opik, who seems far too in love with being a celebrity than a politician, lose miserably. Opik then appeared on the Election addition of Have I got News For You, which was actually a brilliant episode, and said:

“Can we hurry this along? I have an appointment at the job centre in an hour”

Which made me laugh. I actually like him.

However, the Hung Parliament result has meant that the Liberal Democrats are currently in talks with the Conservatives over the possibility of a ConDem (puns are the future!) coalition. David Cameron, in his statement yesterday, said:

“and to remind you how proud you can be of the result: a bigger increase in seats even than Mrs Thatcher achieved in 1979″

- That’s a little misleading. Purely because since 1979, and especially since 1997, the Tories have been absolutely despised. An increase in seats during an election in which the Country has hated Gordon Brown for well over a year, you’ve had millions more to spend on your campaign than any other party, and yet you’re still not able to gain a majority, is a massive, massive failure, and suggests people still don’t trust you. A year ago, the Conservatives were 19 points ahead. They were going to win massively. On May 5th, the polls had them at 5 points ahead. Also, Margaret Thatcher in 1979, didn’t have the bulk of the Nation’s Media behind her. This has not by any means been a successful election campaign for the Tories. All it means is, the Tories over the past five years have managed to hide their inherent disdain for gays, foreigners, Europe, and the poor behind more creative and moderate language. Congrats.

“So I want to make a big, open and comprehensive offer to the Liberal Democrats. I want us to work together in tackling our country’s big and urgent problems — the debt crisis, our deep social problems and our broken political system …

“On the basis of the election result we achieved, it is reasonable to expect that the bulk of the policies in our manifesto should be implemented.”

Here at least, he is right; in that the Liberal Democrats cannot expect too much from a coalition. They lost seats. The Tories, as much as I may dislike it, won the most seats, they should have the bulk of the power. If the Liberal Democrats and the Tories were to form a partnership, I think the Liberals would have to back down on much of their manifesto pledges. Trident will be maintained incase those evil Commies come back, Europe will remain at arms length because we’re British, we once had an Empire you know!, the cuts will still be pretty sharp risking a double-dip recession, and I cannot imagine David Cameron is going to agree to electoral reform. On the subject of electoral reform, the Lib Dems key policy initiative, Cameron said:

“I believe we will need an all-party committee of inquiry on political and electoral reform.”

That, isn’t worth anything. It is a terrible offer. An electoral reform inquiry has already happened, back in 2009. The Liberal Democrats surely know how meaningless this offer by Cameron is. The Conservatives will never be open to key electoral reform.

I would quite like to see a Labour, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru and SNP alliance, maybe even throw Caroline Lucas of the Greens into that too. A real alliance of UK Progressives. Real change. They have to be committed to Electoral reform, it is a must. Whilst the Conservatives may very well have won most of the seats, more people in the UK voted for left, and centre-left politicians, and so a centre-left coalition would be my ideal. If the Tories are allowed to implement the cuts they clearly want, they wont last more than one term in office, and they’ll be unelectable for another generation. I quite like that idea too.

The next few days will be mightily interesting.


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