The Crash of UKIP’s Nigel Farright and the CON-DEM nation.
I don’t usually write about politics. After all, I know sod-all about it and nobody cares what I think anyway. There has, however, been an election recently that has made me ponder a few things. As the results have emerged, I think the UK electorate also have a lot to reflect about. Here’s four of them for starters.
I. A total screw-up at the polls. Hundreds, if not thousands of people were denied the vote all over the country as polling stations did not have enough staff/voting papers/gumption to make the election run smoothly. It is unforgivable to deny the vote to so many and I hope that Returning Officers get their marching orders over this. In a former life I was an observer at Mexican elections. Mexican voters, used to many and varied attempts at ballot rigging, would have not taken the situation so lightly. At the very least they would have prevented the ballot boxes from leaving the polling station until the problem was sorted. My advice: if this happens again, voters should write a list of all those unable to vote (with contact details) to be countersigned by the election officials at the polling station. This would create a permanent record of the numbers involved. As it is, nobody knows exactly how many people were denied their vote or if those numbers were significant enough to alter results.
II. Hung Parliament. There are two options now. A Lib-Dem Conservative coalition or a Lib-Dem Conservative informal agreement. For a coalition the Lib-Dems would require some movement on proportional representation. The Conservatives, just short of an overall majority, will not offer more than cosmetic changes to the voting system. Whilst a coalition would be preferable, in terms of political stability and allowing the Cameron government to concentrate on the rather tricky debt problem, it might not be possible in practice. An ad-hoc arrangement would be more realistic. Both parties would collaborate on areas of agreement, the Lib-Dems would vote with/abstain on the budget to make sure the debt is dealt with and they would be free to disagree on matters of principle (Europe, Trident and PR).
III. Labour. The maths would allow a Labour/Lib-Dem/SNP/Plaid Cymru (Green?) coalition to take power. Of course Nick Clegg won’t dismiss this possibility now, as he negotiates with the Tories, but it cannot be taken seriously. To begin with, the Lib-Dems won’t want to help keep Gordon Brown in, especially given his pivotal role in the Iraq war. Gordon Brown, whatever else he is, is as much a war criminal as Tony Blair. “Call-Me-Dave” might be an unctuous, elitist toff, but he has no blood on his hands. In any event, A Lib/Lab coalition would be equally difficult to sustain. It will be pulling in all directions as the nationalists try to exempt their countries from cuts that will hit England hard – and cause widespread resentment among English voters. Brown’s promise of a referendum on PR may also be as elusive in the end as Tory offers of commissions of inquiry. No. Labour lost the election, they should be consigned to the opposition. Brown should resign and the fatuous, right-wing New Labour project wrapped up. If Brown goes and Labour emerges with a clear new vision, perhaps they would be an attractive option for a coalition. They are a long way from that now.
IV. The UKIP factor. Poor Nigel Farright! His plane crashed and, despite garnering 900,000 votes, got no seats (by contrast the scandal-ridden DUP got 8 MPs with only 160.000 votes). There is a case to be made that if UKIP had not contested this election, Cameron would have won the election (most UKIP voters are ex-Tories or natural Conservatives). Would UKIP votes have tipped Cameron over the winning post? I’m sure that UKIP supporters would be kicking themselves if they thought their votes had helped to bring the Europhile Lib-Dems into government. Such are the quirks of the first-past-the-post system.
Posted on May 9, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged Con-Dem Nation, Conservatives, David Cameron, Election 2010, Gordon Brown, Labour, Lib-Dems, Nick Clegg, Nigel Farright, Polls, Proportional Representation, UKIP. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.