Friday, May 08, 2015

The British Elections . . .We Were All Wrong

And happily so as the ruling Conservative party defied all odds and polls and cruised to a solid majority government gaining 24 seats and their junior partners in coalition, the Liberal Democrats, were solidly dispatched losing 49 seats.

The Prime Minister, Mr Cameron, and Mrs. Cameron

What this means is that the Conservatives are
seven seats above the necessary number to form a government without any other party in coalition. However, in the most technical terms, they only have a four-seat majority.
An aside as to why there are conflicting numbers, it is because the four Catholic MP's* from Northern Ireland run but never take part in parliament.
I wonder if they get paid?!
As I noted in yesterday's post, all the pre-election polling showed that the Conservatives would fall short of a majority and would either have a minority government or scramble to find partners to make a tenuous majority at best.
But as the results showed, it will not be necessary.
Now I am not a huge David Cameron fan. For a Conservative, he sure ain't no Margaret Thatcher. Not even a John Major. But he is superior to the alternative which would have been the Labour party led by Ed Milibrand.
Check that.
No longer led by Mr. Milibrand as he resigned as the Labour party leader. As well as he should since Labour took a double hit in losing 26 seats and and competitiveness in Scotland as the Scottish National Party are one of the two surprises of election night.
While I noted the huge losses of the Liberal Democrats, and I think 49  seats and single digits in the new parliament, the SNP gained 50 seats in Scotland, all at the expense of the Labour party. Now the SNP has all but three seats in Scotland and no doubt they will be pushing hard for another referendum on Scottish independence. And the SNP makes the Labour party look like, well the Conservatives as they are pretty hard-left socialists. And even with all that gain in seats, as a total of the vote, the SNP only had 4.7% of the total national vote. That is a substantive gain of 3.1%.
But the new uneven number three party is the UKIP as they now have one seat in the new parliament and a total of 12.6% of the national vote. A huge increase of 9.5%. But because it is 650 separate elections (the number of seats in parliament), the anti-European Union party only kept one of two seats it won in separate by-elections** before this national election. And while it did not win seats, they finished either second or third in most of the constituencies they competed in.
When added to the Conservative total of 36.8%, the U. K. took a good swing to the right as the combined percent of the vote between the Conservatives and the UKIP of 49%. And the combined left of Labour, Liberal Democrats and the SNP combined for a barely total of 43.1% of the national vote.
What this means in the practical is that the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom will not change. It will be frosty at best but not Israel-like frosty.
Domestically, the Conservatives will make serious cuts in the overall size of government and will have the aforementioned second referendum on Scottish independence and another one on exiting the European Union.
We have five years thereabouts to see how this all turns out.
But one thing is certain.
The polling leading up to the election was all wrong. Could this be good for the United States elections in 2016?

*-The four Catholic MPs represent the Sinn Fein and Social Democrat Labour parties from Northern Ireland.

**-By-election is a special election similar to that held in the United States.

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