Friday, May 07, 2010

British election

Well, the Tories didn’t get a mandate, whatever Plastic Boy says. In fact, this election was a disappointment for the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. The LibDems failed to turn Nick Clegg’s alleged superstar status into an increase in the number of actual, you know, votes.

Since Cameron isn’t willing to give the LibDems electoral reform, just a time-wasting all-party commission, there will be no Tory-LibDem coalition. And the Tories did badly enough that the worst of all possible worlds, a Tory-Ulster Unionist coalition, wouldn’t give them a majority. So the likely outcome is a minority Tory government loosely supported by the LibDems and not able to do too much damage, with another general election some time fairly soon. Cameron will go into that one as the head of a weak government that won’t have accomplished much, but made clear just how harmful its budget cuts will be (combined with tax cuts for the rich). Labour will go into it with a new leader, presumably David Miliband, assuming Labour reacts to the loss with a coup instead of a civil war.

Michael White says Brown has snatched defeat from the jaws of disaster.

Other results: former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith loses her seat in Redditch to the expenses scandal and her husband’s porn habit. The Greens get their first MP ever, Caroline Lucas. Labour retained Rochdale, the constituency where Brown called Gillian Duffy a bigoted woman. The balance in Scotland remains almost exactly the same as in the 2005 elections, with the Tories coming in 4th in the popular vote and retaining a single solitary seat, and Labour actually increasing its vote slightly over 2005. Glenda Jackson, the only MP I’ve seen 1) naked, and 2) acting in a play (though not at the same time), narrowly retains her seat.

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