Oh yes the next Election is now just seven months off. The Chinese have a thing about the number 7 don’t they – it’s a ‘lucky’ number you see (auspicious), but it isn’t looking so lucky now though for the three main political British Parties is it? Seven months to go and all three of them are in meltdown.
A big cause of it all is UKIP, which is trying to barge in, so there would be four major parties – and 4 is an ‘unlucky’ number in Chinese culture it seems!
The Conservatives are hemorrhaging support like nobody’s business, and are on the verge of handing a second parliamentary seat to UKIP in Rochester, with nearly half their voters absconding. Their Achilles heel is Europe of course, and the EU have just struck them a killer blow by submitting a massive surcharge bill (on top of the quadrupled membership fees over the past five years). Tory MPs are not the only ones abandoning a sinking ship are they? Many traditional voters for the Party are simply jumping overboard and swimming quickly away towards UKIP.
Labour’s lead in the polls has evaporated at a time when they should be riding high on the crest of the wave. They too are being hit by the surge of UKIP (who’s danger has been ignored for years), and they will also be trounced in Rochester, with a third of their support switching. Labour have just won a by-election in South Yorkshire, a very safe Labour region, for a Police Commissioner; they held their vote, but then naively boasted that they had brought “UKIP’s advance to a shuddering halt” – ignoring the fact that in only two years UKIP have risen from a lowly fourth place to second place and indeed almost trebled their vote (some halt?). Labour’s 1066 arrow in the eye is likely to come from Scotland, where the SNP seems to have replaced them in the population’s heart (possible enhanced by the Independence referendum campaign). Labour’s chance of winning the Election depended heavily on retaining their gaggle of forty Scottish MPs and that is looking increasingly unlikely wouldn’t you say?
The LibDems are heading for the knackers yard, as they have lost credibility and the trust of their core supporters, let alone the public. This once proud party and performer in by-elections, will certainly lose their deposit in Rochester and will be lucky to get one or two percent of the vote. Most outsiders consider that their apparent abandonment of long held principles to enjoy power with the Tories was a suicidal act. UKIP are now well poised to step into their shoes as the home of the ‘protest voter’ don’t you think?
All three Leaders are up the Swanee as well these days, aren’t they?
Tory David Cameron is seen as a ‘reliable-go-with-the-wind’ type of bloke, and has a sizable tranche of rebellious MPs that would have scared stiff a previous PM John Major (who suffered badly from similar problems).
Labour Ed Miliband is considered to be a man in charge but not in control of his Party, as he accommodates far & wide and doesn’t dictate sufficiently, so he has one of the worst public image ratings ever.
LibDem Nick Clegg is well past his ‘best before date’, yet fails to realize that or act on it, so whether fair or not, he is having a toxic effect on his Party’s electoral chances in all contests.
So what are the consequences of all of this? Potential mayhem next summer of course. The General Election next May will most likely leave the Country, unfortunately, with all Parties without an overall majority, and worse than that, without a quick-fix coalition opportunity. Whoever wins the most seats, Conservative or Labour, won’t be able to entice just one of the other also-rans to help them because none of them will have got enough MPs to make the difference.
The LibDems current nearly sixty MPs are likely to be decimated to around a dozen or more. UKIP, if they continue their triumphant march, could also end up with a dozen MPs. The SNP may well up their game with a couple of dozen MPs, by stealing them from Labour in Scotland. ALL Others including the Welsh, Irish, & Greens, probably a dozen at most. Will Labour or Conservatives be able to cobble together a majority out of that, or assure the Queen they can go ahead as a minority Government, do you think?
This will be a fraughtful outcome from a British General Election, particularly at a time of financial instability, economic uncertainty, and international insecurity, so it is definitely a situation to lose some sleep over, don’t you agree?
If all that happens then the position of ALL three Leaders becomes indeterminate and probably two of them will go. The one who manages to form a Government though will not last too long either, as failure at an election is regularly rewarded by a knife in the back, isn’t it? We will be fortunate if our next Government last a year – then we will be back to the polls again with fresh faces in front of us, revised manifestos, and a new opportunity to elect a stronger government.
[At least we will all be able to enjoy watching the struggles for succession in each of the parties though, wont we?]