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UK election





Bikerman
The Conservative (Tory) party have won an overall majority in the election (yesterday).
For those unfamiliar with the UK this means that the Tory Party (on the right of the political spectrum) have won more seats in the House of Commons than all the other parties combined. This means they can pass new laws without relying on other parties for support. Two important consequences will be:
a) More 'austerity' - particularly heavy cuts in public spending.
b) A referendum on membership of the European Union.

Points of interest:
a) The opinion polls were VERY wrong about the result. The polls have consistently predicted that no party would get an overall majority. Most polls underestimated the Tory vote by 5 percent or more.
b) There was a MASSIVE swing in Scotland. Scotland is traditionally a Labour party (left[ish] rival to the Tories) stronghold. In this election Labour were all but annihilated in Scotland by the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP - the party which campaigns for Scotland to leave the UK).
c) The Liberal Democrats (centre-left) were all but annihilated in England. The Lib Dems have been in coalition with the Tory party for the last 5 years, since the Tories did not have a majority in the previous election. It was widely predicted that the party would do badly (they abandoned key promises made before the last election) but the scale of their defeat is larger than their worst nightmares.
d) The UK Independence Party (UKIP - right wing anti-Europe & anti-immigration) won only 1 seat despite predicting many more. Their leader - Nigel Farage - failed to win his seat and has sort of resigned. UKIP came third overall with nearly 13% of the total vote but, because of the 'first past the post' system in the UK, this did not translate into seats in Parliament.
d) Ed Miliband (Labour Party leader) & Nick Clegg (Lib Dem leader) have resigned.

Click HERE for more details on the results from the BBC.
deanhills
I usually follow the elections in the UK but now I've read your report Chris am glad I did not. I just hate it when I follow a story in the media to discover the polls had had it all wrong. Thanks for posting the election results. Cool

Probably never good when one party has an upper hand like that. Means they can take greater risk with decisions whereas they'd have been more careful before. I'd prefer the one party to keep the other one on their toes in coalition with other parties, so there is a greater balance of power.

Wonder whether there had been others like me who blocked out the elections, probably need to go and check up on what the voter percentages had been like.

Just checked. Nope! One percent more turnout this year over last year - 66% overall. 71% in Scotland. Particularly surprising 60% of 18-24 year olds. Looks as though David Cameron hasn't lost his charm. Razz
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/general-election-2015-highest-turnout-since-1997-10235076.html
Peterssidan
Bikerman wrote:
Two important consequences will be:
a) More 'austerity' - particularly heavy cuts in public spending.
b) A referendum on membership of the European Union.
Bikerman wrote:
b) There was a MASSIVE swing in Scotland. Scotland is traditionally a Labour party (left[ish] rival to the Tories) stronghold. In this election Labour were all but annihilated in Scotland by the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP - the party which campaigns for Scotland to leave the UK).

Could this have some connection? Scotland has already voted for their independence and they will probably not be allowed to do it again anytime soon. I'm just speculating that maybe the Scottish who want to leave the UK also want UK to leave the EU and are aiming for that now instead.
Bikerman
Peterssidan wrote:
Could this have some connection? Scotland has already voted for their independence and they will probably not be allowed to do it again anytime soon. I'm just speculating that maybe the Scottish who want to leave the UK also want UK to leave the EU and are aiming for that now instead.

No, that is a wrong interpretation.
Scotland is FAR more in favour of the EU (per head) than England. The SNP position is extremely PRO EU - they wish to be an independent country within the EU.
My own interpretation is as follows:
Scotland is anti-Tory in a big way (for a number of historical reasons). The independence referendum saw the Labour party align with the Tory party in support of the 'No to independence' position. This led many natural Labour voters (even those who do not want independence) to see the Labour party as part of an English establishment politic which does not represent the interests of Scotland.
At the same time, the SNP adopted a position that voting SNP would allow the SNP to form an alliance with Labour to keep out the Tory party and allow a strong Scottish voice in the UK parliament. This was apparently supported by the opinion polls which predicted that the Tory party would not get enough seats for a majority and indicated that Labour + SNP would have a majority.

In reality the result is great for the SNP but terrible for most Scottish voters - they have exactly what they did NOT want - a Tory government with the real possibility of leaving the EU as a result.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Probably never good when one party has an upper hand like that. Means they can take greater risk with decisions whereas they'd have been more careful before. I'd prefer the one party to keep the other one on their toes in coalition with other parties, so there is a greater balance of power.

Hmm, that is a common-sense view but, interestingly, might not actually be the case here.
In the previous parliament the Tory party had no majority and went into a coalition with the Lib Dems. That gave Cameron sufficient votes to be able to ignore the extreme right-wing of his own party (the right-wing of the Tory party are rabidly anti-Europe, anti Gay rights, anti-immigrant - in fact pretty much the same as UKIP). Cameron is much more to the centre of the party and he was able to maintain that position (including passing laws such as allowing Gay marriage) because he didn't need the votes of his own right-wing.
Now the position is different. Without a coalition Cameron has a tiny majority - 12 votes. This means that he can no longer ignore his right-wingers and leaves him very vulnerable to any revolt within his own party. This will be most obviously seen on the issue of Europe where the Tory party is split down the middle.
So rather than being free to pursue radical policies, in reality Cameron will have to walk a tightrope to balance the centrist (one-nation) Tory position which he favours against the right-wing extreme of his own party.

PS - for a good comparison one needs go no further than looking at the Tory Government led by John Major - 1992-1997.
Major had a majority of 21 - much bigger than Cameron. His Government is largely considered to have been a disaster. He was held hostage by the anti-European right-wingers which effectively paralysed the government and eventually led to him deciding to resign and seek a vote of confidence from his own party.
Peterssidan
OK, thanks for your explanations. I don't follow the UK politics, except a little I see on the news. I saw a person that they interviewed, just a regular voter I think, and she said people didn't know what to vote for and that many probably decided when they where at the polling stations. I don't know how much truth there is in this but it could explain why there was a big difference between the opinion polls and the election results. Are there any reasons why last-minute decisions would have benefited the Tory party?
Bikerman
Peterssidan wrote:
Are there any reasons why last-minute decisions would benefit the Tory party?

Yes and this may be an important factor. It is a truism that undecided voters, when they DO actually vote, tend to vote 2 to 1 in favour of the status-quo. In other words, one would predict that undecided voters would come down as about 66% Tory and 33% Labour when it came to the actual vote.
(Obviously this is a simplification and doesn't account for the minor parties, but the general point is valid - those deciding at the last minute will generally favour the incumbent).
johans
i have heard the news.. one thing i like about UK election is peaceful.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Now the position is different. Without a coalition Cameron has a tiny majority - 12 votes. This means that he can no longer ignore his right-wingers and leaves him very vulnerable to any revolt within his own party. This will be most obviously seen on the issue of Europe where the Tory party is split down the middle.
So rather than being free to pursue radical policies, in reality Cameron will have to walk a tightrope to balance the centrist (one-nation) Tory position which he favours against the right-wing extreme of his own party.
Wow, never thought about it this way. Makes sense. Total game of chess!

Bikerman wrote:
PS - for a good comparison one needs go no further than looking at the Tory Government led by John Major - 1992-1997.
Major had a majority of 21 - much bigger than Cameron. His Government is largely considered to have been a disaster. He was held hostage by the anti-European right-wingers which effectively paralysed the government and eventually led to him deciding to resign and seek a vote of confidence from his own party.
Got it! Looks as though there could be a pattern developing here for a repeat of 1997. The issue that could potentially kill Cameron could be on leaving the EU. Probably also will be dependent on the new Labour Party leadership and if they can reorganize themselves in the same strong way they had in the lead-up to 1997 when Major and issues of the day provided them with plenty of ammunition to hang Major with. I had a quick look at the highlights of events leading up to the 1997 elections and "major" defeat of the Tories and that definitely was an interesting time for politics in the UK. All of the "sleaze" scandals must have kept the media in clover.

Think I'll be following the news again on British Government politics! Thanks for brightening up this Forum with a quality thread! Cool
Insanity
Great to see another election in the UK
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