UK poll musings

The polls in the UK are open, and not long after the sun rises in the wide brown land, the polls will close. Not too much heat or excitement in this campaign, since the result seems like a foregone conclusion, and the speculation is merely on the size of the margin.

Despite the protests of the fashionable commentariat, Blair is still reasonably popular amongst ordinary Britons. He did use up some of his political capital in his poor management of the case for war in Iraq, but regardless on the myriad of domestic issues which influence voters more than anything else, Blair is seen as doing the right thing. The Tories are still tarnished by their slash and burn approach to public services under Thatcher and Major, and much as Howard likes to present himself as a new generation of Tory, voters are not yet willing to accept it.

The wildcard in this election is the Liberal-Democrats. Those minority of voters who are pissed off at Labour over Iraq will invariably turn to the Lib-Dems, who took a strong line against the war, rather than the Tories. Polling figures just a few days ago suggested that the Lib-Dems are headed for their best result yet, and may replace the Conservatives as the major opposition party. So long as the flood of votes toward the Lib-Dems doesn't unseat Blair, then their strong vote is a healthy thing for democracy since it will disrupt the Labour-Tory power duopoly. Should the Lib-Dems do well in the Labour-vs-Conservative marginal seats, and put Blair in danger of losing, then the Lib-Dems result could unwittingly produce their nightmare scenario - Tories in power. Such is the silliness of the first-past-the-post system used in the UK, but that's a debate for another time.

As for a prediction - no specific numbers, but the Tories to maintain their current standing, the Lib-Dems to increase their representation at the expense of Labour, and Labour to be returned to government with a decreased majority. Now that Howard has tried and failed, the real challenge to unseat Blair begins... from within. Browne, Cook, Hoon, step right up.

Comments

Hamish said…
Hey Ari,

Obviously I'm not absolutlely happy with the results.

It looks like Lynton wasn't the best idea, what with the non-compulsory voting and all.

However, it would have been interesting to see what would have happened had there been compulsory voting, like in Aus

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