View Poll Results: British? How will you be voting on 23rd June 2016?

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Thread: The British Politics and Current Affairs Thread

  1. #81
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't this a "Challengers Debate", which indicates that the incumbent parties weren't supposed to be there? Or was it referred to that because Clegg and Cameron skipped it.

  2. #82
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    As far as I know, Cameron decided to skip it leading to BBC excluding Clegg (even though he said he wanted to be there) so they could call it a challenger's debate.

  3. #83
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    Yes, that is my understanding too. Cameron tried not to debate at all, got forced into accepting one, and the broadcasters made the best of the situation.



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  4. #84
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    What we seem to be seeing at the moment is a small backslide to the incumbent parties. This always happens in an election, as the party in power get less unpopular as the time comes around. Part of this is the UKIP vote evaporating, as Labour are basically staying roughly where they are. The Conservatives are between 2.5 and 4% up on Labour now, depending on a couple of polls, while one outlier for the Times put Labour up by three. A Telegraph poll puts them in a dead heat. Personally, I think the 2.5% lead for the Tories is more reliable. The Lib Dems, meanwhile, are back up into double figures and are polling at around 10.2%, though some individual polls are still putting them as low as 7-8%.


    A few thoughts on this.

    If the 4% figure isn't misleading, then it's still possible for the Conservatives to win outright. There is a theory that support for the Conservatives is always underestimated. At a 4% lead, they'd already be up to around 312. They'd be losing fewer to Labour than they'd be winning from the Lib Dems. Add the implicit support from the DUP and remove the Sinn Fein voters, and you'd have a majority in fact if not in law. If the 4% poll hints at 'quiet Tory' support, then it only has to be out for a tiny amount and David Cameron will be PM again.

    Second, if the Lib Dem vote is rebounding but predictions for seat numbers are unchanged, then it seems they'll be hurt by the SNP even more than Labour. If we assume that in 2010 they over-achieved as a result of Clegg-mania, then we need to be comparing their figures with the results in 1997, 2001, and 2005 as more realistic goals. In fact, even 2005 might be beyond them as they took huge gains at Labour's expense following the Iraq war.

    So if 2001 is as 'good as it gets' for them this year, a solid campaign from Clegg might see them rebound to around 18%. But that would still see them getting killed north of the border, unless they win back a disproportionate number of voters in Scotland.


    Of course, one final thought: there is always a chance that Tory support was always underestimated in the 'three party' model, while the new proliferation of parties might break old rules. If, say, UKIP are the party with underestimated support, the whole thing will look very different come the day.



    EDIT:

    Picking up from something 'Plan asked on Twitter, here is the best regional breakdown I can find of the Lib Dem vote.

    Scotland: 4.7%
    Northern England, including Yorks and Greater Manchester: 8-10%, strongest in the far North, Cumbria etc.
    Midlands: approx 7%, stronger in the East Midlands than the marginals of the West
    Wales: 6.5%, but likely concentrated in winnable areas
    East Anglia: 10% so around the national number
    London and South east: 9-13%
    South West: 20%. Still significantly higher than the average but with such a weak Labour presence, perhaps not enough to fend off the Tories.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 04-19-2015 at 10:18 AM.



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  5. #85
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    I've been following the Election Live threads on BBC News most days over the past few weeks, and as this is my first election where I am allowed to vote, I have an extra interest in this election.

    It does seem to be an exciting election in terms of unpredictability, and whilst I don't know the breakdowns of regions and constituencies as well as Prime does, I will definitely be watching the live broadcast early into the morning on May 7th. I just hope that the SNP don't get a say in who runs the country, as it is vastly unfair for England, Wales and Northern Ireland if the Scots get a lot more stuff, which they already do with free prescriptions, free uni places etc.

  6. #86
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    Can I ask Prime, because you see, to be like some kind of political Yoda right now, would you be able to explain more explicitly why the UKIP vote is evaporating?
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  7. #87
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    Uncertain am I.

    If I had to guess, I'd say the main reason the UKIP vote would be fading would be that they are the protest party of the moment. There were a lot of people attracted to them briefly, that didn't really have any attention of voting for them in a general election but liked the idea of saying something they figured as outside the mainstream. They've also gotten much more scrutiny lately, so there's a chance a few people who flirted with them have been turned off after getting to know them a bit better. But I think the more likely case is that a lot of these people were always going to return to the fold when push came to shove and the election came around.

    It happens every time - even to the Lib Dems last time. They were briefly polling at 35% of the vote after the first debate in 2010, before falling back to an eventual 23% on polling day. It strikes me that the same thing is happening to UKIP, just on a smaller scale.

    Jack - I wouldn't worry about the SNP holding either of the major parties to ransom for more money. The best case scenario for them, in funding terms, is that the money stays at the level it is. If they do exert pressure, at the most it'll be a commitment to a second referendum, and possibly something to do with Trident - either scrapping it or getting it out of Scottish waters. But they won't be pushing for a big increase in funding because they just won't get it, and they've been very good at picking their battles in the last few years.



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  8. #88
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    How is it we can tell it's evaporating is more what I meant dude. As in, how do all the statistics work to tell us that and stuff.
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  9. #89
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    Ah, I see.

    Well, to be honest the UKIP numbers are just pretty unsophisticated polling data, so I'm just following the trendlines in that regard.

    There's a pretty big margin of error in the approach, but there does seem to be a fairly clear trend in the data. The back end of last year, around the time of the by-election wins, UKIP tended to poll around 17-19% on average and reached highs of around 25%. Since the new year that has shifted slightly - they haven't polled at more than 20% since January - and now the average seems to be around 13%. On the 12th of April, an ICM poll put them behind the Lib Dems for the first time in a very long time, at just 7%. That's almost certainly a freak result as all the others still put them in double figures. They also seemed to get a little spike after the leaders debate, hitting highs of around 17% lately and maybe just pushing the average up to 14%.

    But they poll at 13% more than any other number right now, they poll below it almost as often as they poll above, and experts are now predicting that Farage will not only lose Thanet South, and Reckless with lose Rochester and Strood, but that Carswell is in danger, and the party might face wipe-out as anyone remotely Tory flocks back to the party in a state of fear over a Miliband/Sturgeon alliance.


    But before we worry about UKIP even getting 13%, remember that the Liberal Democrats have had more votes than that in every election in the history of the party. You have to go back to the Liberals to find a comparable result for them.



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  10. #90
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    I've just compared a couple of forecasts by various experts.

    Electoral Calculus are predicting the Tories will win 282, Labour 280, SNP 48, Lib Dems 17, Plaid 3, UKIP 1, Green 1. They were very accurate in 2010, only getting the Tory vote wrong by about 1%. I can't remember quite what they had for the Lib Dems because obviously that bounced around a lot in the final week.

    Election Forecast predict more of a range, but their 'best guess' numbers are Tories 281, Labour 275, SNP 43, Lib Dems 26, Plaid 4, UKIP 1, Green 1. They also have a 'hi' and 'lo' possibility for everyone here, which says that the main two can hope for about 320 at best, and can finish at around 235-40 at worst. The SNP will get at least 27, and their 'lo' end for the Lib Dems is roughly the same as the electoral calculus guess.


    What's interesting about this, is that obviously if this latter prediction is right, then Labour and the SNP can't get to 326 by themselves. They could only get to 318. Now, if you take the Sinn Fein MP's and the speakers out, that might give you a chance of getting uncontroversial legislation through. But if the 'middle' numbers are more accurate than some of the extreme ones we've been reading, then the balance of power might fall to Plaid, the SDLP or.... whisper it so 'Plan doesn't get too excited.... the Liberal Democrats once again.



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  11. #91
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    Why wouldnt you take Sinn Fein out of the calculation? There is no chance Sinn Fein MPs will ever sit in the British Parliament while Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness are in charge of the party. It just wont happen. I think people like Michelle Gildernew would kill to take their seat but she doesnt make it her decision. Sinn Fein will win at least 4, and mostly likely 5 and maybe 6 seats (on the very outside). Deduct them.

  12. #92
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    ^ Exactly my point. If there were a chance of them taking their seats then I'd leave them in. It's just an extra thing to consider, that in reality you don't *really* need to get to 326, because there are a few seats that basically don't count once parliament starts. I don't follow Northern Irish politics as closely as I probably should but I understand 5 is the expected number this time, with as much chance of losing a seat as gaining one.

    But the long and short of it is if Sinn Fein do very well, and the speakers are taken out as well, then the magic number becomes 317. Cameron won 307 last time. The DUP will be the biggest party in Northern Ireland with 7-8 seats. With a weak Lib Dem vote, it's not difficult to see a route to a workable alliance between the two, as they had in 1955. Basically the Labour vote in England needs to hold up to prevent it.


    Anyway. I feel like I've talked about numbers enough. I'll get back on to it if they change again, but honestly, I think they seem pretty set and it's now about who actually gets the vote out.

    So let's talk issues. A big one coming out at the moment is that the Tories are gambling with the future of the country as a United nation, by building up the SNP in Scotland at the expense of Labour. It was Labour, really, who won the 'no' vote, and not the Conservatives, who are still lucky to win a seat North of the Border. The fear that some Scottish Conservatives have is that, having won a 'no' vote, the opportunities of that are being squandered and that if they build up Sturgeon, to the point where Labour in Scotland is broken, that another referendum will follow quickly and there will be no chance of stopping a 'Yes' vote.


    One other thing - a Lib Dem MP says there won't be another coalition with the Conservatives. Clegg dismissed what he said as just his opinion, but the guy was pretty insistent that there was no appetite for it in the party. Watch out for a rebellion, then, if the Lib Dems do lose a lot of seats but Clegg still tries to do a deal with Cameron. Could cost him his head.



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  13. #93
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    I fully blame Ed for all this uncertainty. If Labour had a leader with charisma they'd walk this. In my opinion, they're throwing it away by having Ed stand and allowing the Conservatives a chance they don't deserve. In a way, I see Labour needing a big John Prescott figure at the head to really represent what they stand for .

    As it is, I sort of expect a Lab/SNP coalition with a few others if necessary.

  14. #94
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    An interesting assessment. I can't really argue with you, because it's largely a personal perception. But I think you might be in more of a minority than anything.

    The leader of the opposition doesn't generally get a lot of airtime until the election. Miliband's basically been lambasted by a right wing press, much of which he's pissed off by having the temerity to win votes in parliament (again, something that the Opposition don't often do), until very recently. He's also been played down at every turn by the Tories.

    The interesting thing is that since the campaign has started, and he has been put in front of the people, Ed's personal approval ratings have gone up much faster than Labour's have gone down. In fact, earlier this month, he overtook Cameron for the first time - around the same time that the Tories pulled level with Labour in the polls. My reading of this is that the more people see of Ed, the more they like him.


    The main thing working against Labour? Facts are irrelevant, and in western politics if you are in power when something happens you are to blame for it. It's only five years since a lengthy Labour government. For a lot of people, Labour are not an option, and the likelihood of them winning an election comfortably was always going to be a long shot, with or without Miliband.

    There's a few reasons I say that. One, the only Labour leader to win a general election in our lifetimes (I'm guessing, anyway) is Tony Blair. Before 1997, no Labour leader had won an election since October 1974 - when the majority was just three. They'd become the largest party in a hung parliament earlier that year, and lost in 1970, so between 1966 and 1997 Labour didn't ever win a general election comfortably. Since then, Blair won two landslides on a fairly centre-right platform in what were basically protests against Tory sleaze, and then a narrower result in 2005.

    So why the history? If Tony Blair is the only Labour leader to win masses of seats in the South of England and win elections comfortably since... well, since England were good at football, to put that in perspective.... then I'm not sure you can expect a Labour leader of any stripe to win an election comfortably just five years after the voters turfed them out. There's also a factor as to whether a Blair, or even Prescott (since you mention him) would have the success today that they had in the past. Finally, I remember the Labour leadership election. It's not as if there were a lot of other options. David Miliband was obviously the runner-up, and gets the nod from most people. However, given your comment that they need someone to 'represent what [Labour] stand for', I'm not sure Tony Blair-lite is the answer to that, nor am I sure he could hold together the various wings of the party in the current climate. He'd certainly find it harder to talk to the anti-austerity alliance than his brother.

    Along with that, the SNP surge would be happening regardless of who was Labour leader. It had started under Blair, continued under Brown (who was still very popular in Scotland, even in 2010) and has continued apace for almost 15 years now. Without it, Ed would be PM. I mean, they are currently predicted to lose most of their Scottish seats and still basically tie in parliamentary arithmetic with the Tories, at around 281 seats. The additional 29 seats they'd hold if they don't lose their Scottish possessions would put them up to 310. That's more than Cameron won last time - and that is without even considering that they might have won Scottish Lib Dem seats that are instead going to the Nationalists.


    Finally, with the Lib Dems in government, they were always going to lose seats in some areas to the Tories. The Southwest, for example, is an area where Labour are lucky to win ten seats even when they are at their most popular. The Lib Dems traditionally do well there, but will suffer losses this time. The long and short of that is that Labour's wins from the Tories will be somewhat negated by Blue gains from the LD's.


    So the long and short of this is that I actually think Ed's fought a pretty solid campaign so far. He was never likely to sweep all before him, but then nobody was. The only politician who may have broken the stalemate, one way or the other, was Boris Johnson. There are some external factors working against Miliband and Labour that are having a much bigger bearing on their chances than anything he does.


    But yeah - as long winded as it is, that's just my opinion. I expect a Labour minority government with informal support from the SNP. But I also expect that to be heavily criticised by the right wing press, particularly in the days following the election if the Tories hold more seats, and I don't expect it to survive a full term.



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  15. #95
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    Interesting day for Politics. ..

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32424739


    Can't say I disagree as it's why I am so undecided. As per my post earlier I feel wholly unconvinced.

  16. #96
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    One thing I read today pleased me immensely, and that is only 1 in 10 voters look at party leader as a reason to vote for a party.

    Now, as a Labour man that should annoy me. Miliband has been trailing for years and now that he's caught Cameron, everyone decides it's irrelevant. But it's such a good mvoe given the system that we have that I can't be angry about it.


    Take 2010 as an example. The Lib Dems did brilliantly in the debates, and we had Cleggmania. But the Lib Dems are obviously a party that span a number of different ideological positions, and frankly, unless you were in Sheffield Hallam, voting for Nick Clegg gave you absolutely no idea of who you'd actually be sending to parliament. Are you sending a Labour leaning, former SDP acolyte - or a Tory leaning, David Laws-esque old school Liberal? Massive gulf between those two positions hidden by a yellow rosette.

    So for that reason alone, I'm really pleased that people aren't going drawn into seeing this as a presidential contest. It's not, and never has been.

    edit: Writing an article and a Tory council candidate just knocked my door. I'm proud of myself for the restraint I showed. I was civil and everything.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 04-24-2015 at 10:34 AM.



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  17. #97
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    So, David Cameron claims 'brain fade' about who he supports after seeming to get his football team wrong in a speech.

    I saw someone comment that they didn't buy it, because you are more likely to forget your name than who you support. That's how deep sporting affiliations run.

    I do see this as a problem for Cameron. It's not so much that sport is going to be so important to the average voter, although some small number will doubtless be turned off by this. It's the perception of dishonesty. Cameron has a bit of a trust problem already, the idea that he isn't really 'one of us' is probably as behind his failure to command a majority either in 2010 and 2015, and this looks like he has been caught in a lie. It's particularly damaging as it's a lie that was designed to 'normalise' him, but one that he only had a tenuous control over to begin with.


    Now, I don't think it will swing too much. If you are going to vote for him by now, you are going to vote for him regardless. But where I think it might hurt him is with undecided voters, those who may have drifted back towards the Tory party in the final weeks of the campaign, as people tend to do with the incumbents. I imagine it'll hurt him disproportionately with working-class men, possibly with an emphasis in the Midlands (given the team he has 'forgotten' is Villa).

    Given that men are overwhelmingly the Conservative vote, and the Midlands is very much the area that decides the election between Labour and the Tories, it isn't hard to see why this is very bad news as they try and turn a flagging campaign around. The numbers still have the parties locked in a virtual tie for the number of seats, so if the Scottish predictions are too kind to the SNP then Miliband would be on course to be PM. This is one of the last things the Tory strategists will have wanted their leader to do, and Cameron's 'posh', 'out-of-touch' image being in focus will be a nightmare for them.

    We've certainly come a long way from Cameron v Miliband being a major electoral advantage for the Tories, in the last few weeks.



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  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    But the long and short of it is if Sinn Fein do very well, and the speakers are taken out as well, then the magic number becomes 317. Cameron won 307 last time. The DUP will be the biggest party in Northern Ireland with 7-8 seats. With a weak Lib Dem vote, it's not difficult to see a route to a workable alliance between the two, as they had in 1955. Basically the Labour vote in England needs to hold up to prevent it.


    Anyway. I feel like I've talked about numbers enough. I'll get back on to it if they change again, but honestly, I think they seem pretty set and it's now about who actually gets the vote out.

    The numbers are slowly changing. UKIP are holding steady, and so are the Lib Dems after a slight rebound. The SNP are actually going up and up, making a comeback for Labour or the Lib Dems in Scotland look unlikely without a late swing.

    But the Labour and Conservative numbers are turning around gradually. Cameron is being hammered, even in the Tory press, by even people including his own donors. They also seem to be getting beaten in marginal constituencies at a grassroots level - here in my own constituency, some (including The Guardian) still predict a Conservative hold, but you see many more Labour signs in windows, Labour volunteers are meeting more people, Labour events seem better attended, and Labour are apparently getting a better reaction at all the Hustings.

    So, the trend is now that Labour have halved their deficit to the Tories in the past week, and are basically 1.5% behind them now. This has led to talk of the 'momentum' being with Labour, and if that continues I think we can expect them to pull level, at the worst. With that in mind, I thought I'd take Sinn Fein and the Speakers out and take a look at Labour's chances.

    If Labour pull level with the Tories at about 32.5% (a drop for the Tories of 0.7 and a rise for Labour of 0.8, both well within the margin of error), then they'll have 297 seats to the Tories 267. They'll also be pretty confident of the support of the SDLP, as the two parties have historic links, which pulls them up to around 300.

    Nick Clegg, by his own logic, would probably have to try and work with Miliband over Cameron, which either adds 20 seats to Labour or takes them away from a potential Con/Lib coalition tally. If Clegg did decide to talk to Labour, all of a sudden their Lab/Lib/SDLP group would have 320 seats, or so. 326 is the magic number, but remove the 3 speakers and 4-5 Sinn Fein, and you'd have a workable majority of 2 in fact, if not in law.

    Even if they couldn't or wouldn't work with the LD's though, the SNP, with their 45 seats (maybe more) would be able to effectively nix any Tory chances even without going into a formal deal with Labour. Miliband could continue in the relatively safe assumption that the SNP, Caroline Lucas and Sylvia Hermon will all back him in a confidence vote, given that the alternative would be Cameron or his replacement (Boris or Theresa May).



    So the momentum is with Ed, according to most of the press (and Tory donors). As it stands and on current trends, he'll be Prime Minister. If I were a Conservative strategist I would take those numbers into David Cameron and say "you have ten days to save your career". He looks spent, tired and down at the moment. If he can't change that, he will lose - and the party will never forgive him for losing to someone they laughed at for so many years.



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  19. #99
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    4th post in a row... will have to give the thread up for dead soon.

    But it's interesting that the two things that could have kick-started the Tory campaign fell flat. The letter signed by small businesses was quickly unveiled as a Tory stunt operated by the ridiculous and awful Karren Brady, while Cameron's 'energy' was called 'scary' by his own supporters in the right wing press.

    A lot of issues coming up in the election, but will let others steer it this way. Think it's important that other talk about the issues that occur to them.

    Currently, the predictions tend between a 13 seat lead for each of the major parties. Really close at the minute.



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  20. #100
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    Sorry Pete...baby and stuff.

    Also my constituency has 1/100 odds on the conservatives winning. Depressing and dull.

  21. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by anonymous View Post
    Sorry Pete...baby and stuff.
    No need to apologise for anything mate, I get it. Was an observation more than a prompt - just in case anyone lurking thought I'd go on talking to myself for ever if left to it.

    And yeah, your constituency apparently has a 99% chance of returning Nadine Dorries as MP. You wouldn't really think a stat like that was possible, would you?

    But yes, common consensus is she'll win 45 to 48% of the vote with the opposition split too heavily to make much of a stand. Best bet of ousting her would be to get Lib Dem and Green voters to back Labour, and even then you'd still have to hope on winning some expected UKIP-ers or moderate Tories across. Seems massively unlikely - and if it did happen, then you'd expect a big enough national swing to give Labour a majority.



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  22. #102
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    Less than a week.

    The more I think about it, the more difficult this is to predict with any degree of certainty.

    You've got one poll saying Clegg will lose his seat. You've got another set of numbers saying he'll have a 9000 vote majority. Truth may be either, or somewhere in the middle.

    The UKIP vote has shifted downwards recently but has been holding at 13%. Is it concentrated enough in 2-3 seats to give them the MP's. Perhaps more to the point, have the people slipping back to the big two parties come disproportionately from one side or the other?

    Are the Scottish numbers good? Will we see what happened with the Indy ref, when they fell back by a good 4-5% on the day. Will Murdoch's endorsement of the SNP play badly with former Labour and Lib Dem voters and turn them back to their other parties? Will they just get into the polling booth and plump the way they always have?

    The Conservatives aren't going to gain much to anything out of Labour, but how much can they get out of the Lib Dems? What kind of incumbency effect will they have working in their favour?

    Labour have apparently been running a very focused, boots on the ground kind of campaign in their targeted seats. Will they actually just manage to get a few more voters out in these key seats on the day and win a few that no one is giving them any chance of winning right now?

    There've been one or two Green posters come out of people's windows around by me in recent weeks. Is this happening nationally? Are people having second thoughts and reverting to Labour/Tories?

    Finally, the Tories poll as 'unlikeable' with 60% of the public, a number that suggests plenty of people don't like them but vote for them. This might explain why I see far fewer Conservative posters up than Labour ones in a constituency that an Ashcroft Poll taken a month ago said was going to increase it's majority. But say for argument's sake it's true... how many 'quiet' Tories are there out there? It doesn't take many before they could hold most of their Labour marginals and get very close to a majority just with gains from the Lib Dems....




    So there are so many variables that we just can't interpret clearly at this point. Frankly, I don't think our polling, or our electoral system, is sophisticated enough to handle the myriad of factors going into it at the minute. We could end up with virtually anything from 310 Labour seats propped up with little support from elsewhere, right the way through to a tiny Tory majority, and every point in the middle. It's insane.



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  23. #103
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    It's certainly even more unpredictable than 2010 was.

    So far this thread has stuck strictly to unopinionated observations. What about our politics, for some interesting discussion to be had?

    Where does everyone stand on Trident? Immigration and the EU? The NHS? Can the "chasing down" of things like tax avoidance really fund something as gargantuan as the National Health?
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  24. #104
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    I notice you left tuition fees off that list, Cleggy...

    Just kidding, of course. Will answer those in a minute.

    But before I do, a couple of developments.

    It took many attempts, but DC finally ruled out a cut in child benefit. I wonder if it were a mistake though, because surely anyone paying attention will think he's either lying to end the questioning, or that he's been badgered into it and his financial plans are even more fucked than the IMF seem to think they are. He's also said something about raising the pension rates, probably as an attempt to play to his base and shore up that 'grey' vote which goes overwhelmingly blue.

    Farage has challenged Cameron to a bet for charity as to whether UKIP will win any seats. Cameron made the claim that they'll be wiped out after the 7th, but Farage has fired back by putting his money where his mouth is. Imagine that'll play quite well with any would-be Kippers. Quite decisive.

    And finally, The Guardian have switched their allegiance at the election and have endorsed Labour, and backed Miliband for PM. They have stayed loyal to their 2010 endorsement as far as saying 'vote Lib Dem in Tory/LD marginals'.

    Now, to your questions, 'Plan. Let's see...

    Trident, or a replacement. It's not the most important thing to me, but to be honest I've heard all the strategic arguments and I don't really see the need. I also think the strategic arguments for it were pretty well shot in the 1980s, when it was meant to be the perfect weapon for the time. I don't know how you use a nuclear weapon against a stateless entity like ISIS or Al Qaeda, who are the bigger threats to the National security. Personally, my defence strategy would be to channel a lot of that money into both the more traditional armed forces and into intelligence, which seem more flexible and better able to deal with the 21st century threats. But a big part of this comes from this train of thought. We can't use it against people who don't have nukes, because the international condemnation would be deafening. We can't use it first against people who have it, because we'd be committing suicide - they'd fire back straight away and all the nuclear countries have enough warheads to level the entirety of Britain. And if someone has already fired at us, what fucking use is it? So we can feel better about getting them back? It's an awfully big price tag for what effectively boils down to spite.


    Immigration and the EU - No real strong feelings on immigration. I remember working out from teaching race theory that if you extrapolate it to a logical conclusion you can't have an immigration policy that isn't racist (unless it's open door), but as that'll never happen I guess all you've got to do is figure out how much racism you are comfortable with. But it's not a massive deal for me. I do have a vague sense that the Tory policy, to try and implement a cap, would hurt the economy as people would find they couldn't get the skilled labourers in. Of course, it turned out that they just ignored the cap anyway.

    Mixed feelings on the EU. I am passionately in favour of the idea, as I think it's the best bulwark against the kind of European wars that blighted the twentieth century. I also think the economic arguments are solid, otherwise you wouldn't have had decades of other countries trying to join in. I think it just makes sense, too, that if you are in a union with people that they are more likely to trade, and if you leave that union then they'll get things they could have got from you from a country who stays committed.

    That said, it's far from perfect. My particular problem is that it basically perpetuates an economic system, and it's one that doesn't always work consistently. For example, why can nationalised companies in Europe compete in an open British market, but if we tried to nationalise those markets here that would be against competition law? So there's definitely scope for improvement. But I am still a Europhile and I'd be looking to change it rather than leave it. I also fully expect that if we did leave, we'd be begging to come back in 20 years later, and we'd get rinsed on the terms.

    NHS - fully committed to it, no privatisation (we've seen what that does in other public services), and free at the point of use.

    Tax avoidance - no, the tax gap couldn't pay for the NHS. The NHS is massive. But from the HMRC's figures, if you were to recoup all the money, you could pay for the current transport network, and expand it by a third. Or it'd pay more than 2/3 of the debt interest that we're still lumbered with after the global financial crash. Or it'd pay for 3/4 of the current defence budget. Or a third of the education budget. Or twice as much as we spend on industry, agriculture and employment. Or twice, and a bit, more than we pay on housing.

    So it's a huge sum of money, all of which could improve any of those areas or relieve that burden, allowing more money from those other issues to be funnelled towards the NHS.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 05-02-2015 at 07:41 AM.



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  25. #105
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    Hah, leaving fees off of the list was not intentional. I guess it's never been much in the way of a fierce issue for me as others, given that I fall under the old scheme where it was 3k a year paid back when earning over 15. I also get tired of talking about it, to be frank. It's overshadowed so many other things about the Lib Dems - and Clegg of course - that the mass public have become like parrots. The way you hear people tell it you'd think he was the first politician to ever break an election promise, when we all know it to be otherwise of course. I understand totally that people took it personally because it effects students tremendously and it came off the back of a campaign Clegg fought on the idea of "a new kind of politics" but I just think people don't engage their logic circuits enough and realise that, sometimes, pragmatism requires us to put aside our best intentions.

    This isn't a Clegg issue though, at least in one sense. It's an issue with politics in general and how people think about it. I thought it became glaringly obvious during those QT sessions with the three leaders the other evening. People complain when politicians don't make promises. So to try and appease people politicians make promises. When those promises are broken, people complain the politicians made promises they can't keep. It's a frustrating no-win scenario. I said as much on Twitter and was told the win would be making promises that can be kept. The difficulty is that, I guess, until you're actually sitting in government you may not know, to a universally exhaustive degree, all the ins and outs. Like when the Coalition came in and found the note that Cameron loves to wave about everywhere. It's been refreshing to see Miliband say he wants to be the first to under-promise and over-deliver as opposed to over-promise and under-deliver. I sincerely hope he's honest in his intentions when he says that. The other frustrating aspect is that the fringe parties like the Greens, Plaid and UKIP - even SNP to a degree - can campaign in the same way as the Lib Dems did; as the Other. They can get a scrutiny free ride because they've never born the burden of being in government and having to face challenges that mean you can't just get a free ride to implement what you want, especially with this new and burgeoning multiplicity of politics we're seeing here. They should be heeding the warning we've seen as regards to the Lib Dems and realise that, actually, it's all well and good promising the world on a platter but if you actually end up with that influence you want it isn't quite so cut and dry.

    As for the issues of the day that I did mention, Prime you and I are largely on side with them. I don't think there's wisdom in throwing our nuclear deterrent away so long as nuclear power is a relevancy but four subs is ludicrous as you point out. How many warheads is it each one carries? Something like 20 odd? Even if the horror of nuclear war ever happened - and I don't think it will - in what kind of a scenario is anyone still standing to fire off over TWENTY nukes? Four times over?! Crazy. Three to me is a sensible number, and that's the number proposed by the Lib Dems. One in maintenance, one docked and one patrolling. Maybe even only two would do. The money is better spent elsewhere to support the future in a more optimistic sense. If it goes back into defence, great. If it goes elsewhere, great. We don't need close to 100 nuclear warheads though. That's just silly, frankly speaking.

    On immigration and the EU I'm quite a simple guy. Yes, I think we need to stay in the EU. As was once said to CM Punk, you can't change anything from your couch. If you want it to change you need to be a part of it, even if it's highly unlikely. It feels like the British voters have placed themselves into this bizarre, self-perpetuating no-win scenario. They're dislike the idea of the EU, vote a bunch of Eurosceptics who don't engage constructively with the EU because of it, then complain the EU isn't doing anything for us and go on disliking the idea of the EU. It's insane, just from the perspective of human nature, that Farage thinks we can walk away and still keep all the benefits we have as a part of it, but with more. More so than economically, Great Britain is hardly the major power it once was. Without the leverage we have as a major leading member state of the European Union, what other kind of political leverage will we be left with on foreign affairs? This little island nation that produces nothing? It's a crazy idea propagated, I think, by those who look on the past as some kind of golden age we must get back to. Utter nonsense.

    For what it's worth I also happen to think that, yes, the Lib Dems have the right idea too. If people want a referendum, great, but it has to be done when people are prepared to think calmly and sensibly about it and not when the sceptics have used populism and people's fears to whip up a frenzy to see them get their own way. Unlike empty election promises, the Coalition have fashioned it into actual law that ensures we get that referendum...but only when it's called for. I think that's absolutely the wisest idea. (On a side note, the suggested question in a referendum posited by Farage is so ludicrous it better never see the light of day.)

    Of course, immigration is an off-shoot of our membership and actually I think Labour have a good idea on that front; if you can't dictate policy because of the EU, find a real terms means to tackle the issue by stamping out, not immigration, but the reasons people might abuse the immigration system. I think tackling the root causes of mass immigration will curb the numbers coming in and prove that you can control your own borders as a member of the Union, albeit in practical if not literal terms.

    The NHS is the biggie for me this time around. No surprises, then, that I once again find myself onside with the Lib Dems and their decision to pump more support into what I know from my own job is a desperately, desperately failing mental health system. That entire element of the National Health is stalled and categorically ineffective. It needs money, development and support and that the Lib Dems are pulling a focus onto that I think is absolutely marvelous. While I love that Labour are promising the much needed increase in staffing numbers - and lest we forget many nurses and doctors are from overseas - that the Lib Dems have promised to get the 8bn needed to plug the funding gap and promised to better care and provision for mental health sufferers wins my vote on that front. I know it's unlikely to be another promise met, but the intention is there at the very least. The "Carer's Bonus" idea of theirs is one I have a particularly great deal of good will for.

    EDIT: I also feel a need to say that my support for the Lib Dems isn't born from blind loyalty. My family has traditionally always been, very strongly, a Labour voting family. I have siblings who vote Labour "just because" that's what everyone else in the family has done. The reason I will (as it stands currently) be voting Lib Dem next Thursday and did last time is because, quite naturally, I fall most on side with their ideas and policies. Whether the fact I think Nick Clegg is given a totally unfair time by everyone stems from that or not I don't know; maybe, but I also passionately believe that to be true.
    Last edited by 'Plan; 05-02-2015 at 08:24 AM.
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  26. #106
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    I'm not a loyalist really. I've voted Labour in each of the general elections I've been able to vote in, but that's been out of pragmatism more than anything else. They've all been in the same area, always the same Lab/Con marginal, so it always made a certain amount of sense. But I've voted differently in PR elections and in council elections in other areas. So my vote is, to a certain degree, up for grabs. It's just less than the traditional conception of the 'swing voter' that the media have. I can't really imagine voting Conservative or UKIP unless the candidate was excellent, or it was to block a BNP win.

    I do have some pretty mixed feelings on Clegg and the Lib Dems. I've said before in this thread, I would have voted Lib Dem if I was anywhere else. I was kind of hoping they'd break through last time, even more than we did. I remain convinced that in many ways, of the three guys who were running in that election, he was the one best suited to the job of Prime Minister.

    I also don't think that they should be defined by one issue in tuition fees, and I'm of the opinion that they do get a bit of an unfair ride in things. It's a bit ridiculous that we're seeing the Conservatives get an incumbency boost while the Lib Dems fall away to nothing. So I do feel for them a bit, and I don't think that Nick Clegg is anything other than a genuine guy trying to do what he can for the best.


    But those feelings are somewhat complicated by some other things. It's hard to avoid the fact that they ran very cynical campaigns while in opposition, positioning themselves as a left-wing alternative to New Labour in Northern heartlands while pitching themselves more as centrists moderates in more rural areas of the South, where they were fighting the Tories. There is a part of me that says if you try and be all things to all people, you are inevitably going to get found out.

    Then, there's the fact that a lot of his rhetoric on coalitions doesn't really seem to make sense to me - or to the expert who called his claims 'absurd' the other day, it would seem. Dealing with the coalition we've just had for starters, he has never been able to answer sufficiently for me why the Lib Dems voted for things that they had opposed prior to the election. Yes, I know the country needs a stable government, but it's my opinion that Clegg needed those 'red lines' much earlier than now. It's my opinion that the Liberal Democrats had a much stronger hand than they chose to play, and could have insisted on either abstaining on things they didn't agree with, or better yet, ensuring that anything passed by the government was approved of by both parties. I've never really heard a satisfactory answer to why they didn't do that, and I think the failure to give a satisfactory answer is, more than anything else, why tuition fees won't go away as an issue for them. I suspect it's because they were so keen to show that coalitions work, that they can be stable, that they didn't really judge the mood of their voters very well at all. People get punished for that kind of naivety in politics. In this case Nick's being punished because people mistake that naivety for general political bullshit. At least, that is my best guess.

    More recently, there's the sense from Clegg that the biggest party has more of a mandate. It's utter drivel with no constitutional merit, as was pointed out to him. The fact is simple - the state of the parties is irrelevant, and it's the person who can get a Queen's speech and budget through parliament that should lead the house. If that is the leader of the second biggest party, because 4-5 parties are committed to changing PM, then so be it. Clegg's invention of rules that don't exist or stand up to any scrutiny do make me distrust his judgement in these kind of issues, which is obviously a problem given the comments I made given in the section above.

    So I've gone from wishing I was in a constituency where voting Lib Dem was practical to thinking I'd only do it tactically in 5 years.



    As for those other issues, we do seem to be largely in agreement. I think I'm a little to the left of you in one or two things, but broadly speaking we could be in coalition together, I think. The Lib Dem position on Europe does make a certain amount of sense, although I would say I'm a bit more against a referendum than that because I think the economic uncertainty would be a nightmare. That said, I think given the mood in the country further transfers of powers without a referendum would be a disaster for public relations.

    Incidentally, the Tories promising a referendum should be a reason not to vote for them for anyone out there who wants to keep their job, IMO.



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  27. #107
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    On the referendum issue, I have to say that I am very actively against us leaving the European Union but there's no fairness in denying a referendum when there's such a vocal desire for one. This is a democracy after all and that means acquiescing to things you may not want at times, if the majority want it. In this case, the opportunity to vote on whether we stay in the EU or opt out of it is want some want so it's good they get the opportunity...but in the balanced way of doing it when it makes most sense rather than just arbitrarily bowing to the invoked fearful pressure of the day. So while I categorically do not want to see us ever leave the EU as it stands, I cannot in good conscience be against a referendum if people want one; when it makes sense to hold one, if people want it, then let's hold one.

    Constitutionally there may be no merit to what Clegg says re the Tories getting first shot at government (if that's what you were referring to?) but practically it makes plenty of sense. Surely in a good natured democracy, the party with the highest share of the vote is, by virtue, the party the majority of voters want in power. Pragmatically that therefore translates as they should have the first right to form a government, which is what Clegg was saying back in 2010. They may not have won a majority, but they won an election and therefore had the first right to form a government. To do that they needed the Lib Dems. I can understand there's no literal provision that mandates that line of thinking, but good conscience certainly does. Rather than act undemocratically, Clegg did the most democratic thing he did and that was uphold the direction of the general election; in the end, the party that the public voted for the most formed a government (albeit in Coalition) with a moderating influence. The irony is that, prior to the GE five years ago, Clegg was being brought up on his saying, in the event of a hung parliament, he would seek coalition first with whatever party won. There's a promise he kept; there's a promise he's bashed for keeping. Dude can't do right for doing wrong. As he stated in the Question Time special, there's the tiny matter of democracy.

    Incidentally, I understand some people's compulsion to vote "tactics" but it's something I grossly disagree with, personally. But that's just the naive obstinacy in me I think.
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  28. #108
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    I get why some people don't like tactical voting. It's something I've had to defend time and time again on the left. But I've got a pragmatic brain - and if you vote for someone who can't win, and then someone gets in who votes for things that hurt the people who need protecting... well, no amount of pride in sticking to my principles will make up for it. Here two guys are winning: we've got a decent candidate up vs. a political operator who just repeats the party line. Voting for the no-hope Greens because I agree with their manifesto marginally more than Labour and letting the shit MP back in doesn't really appeal to me.


    As I say, I can't disagree with a referendum if there are any more transfers of power. But it doesn't change that I worry, immensely, about the uncertainty to the markets. We've already seen HSBC see they'll leave the country, and I'm willing to bet many more threats of that kind will follow. It'd have to happen, though, because as you say the desire for it is too strong.

    But you've used the word democracy a lot in that post, and it's worth remembering that we're not a democracy. There's a couple of terms that sum up what we are much better. Constitutional Monarchy or Republic would apply much better. When we want to turn things into pure democracy, that's when we have a referendum.

    The fact that we're not a democracy but more in those other moulds has some knock-on effects. Some of these:


    'the party with the highest share of the vote is, by virtue, the party the majority of voters want in power'

    Not something you can infer. People in our system do not vote for a party, or a leader, they vote for an MP. Those MP's then go and vote as they think best. Now, in simple two party politics it's easy to work out who should lead the country, but when you add a third it becomes difficult. The Liberals and Nationalists, for example, have a track record of backing Labour in the 1970s. If we assume that those parties would have supported Callaghan, Foot and Kinnock for PM over Thatcher and Major (admittedly not a safe assumption, but probably not a ridiculous one either), then the majority of voters would have wanted a PM different from the leader of the largest party from 1979 to 1992. I'm not saying that is definitely the case, now - just that the biggest party does not translate to a majority very often, and we shouldn't confuse the two. The last party to win 50% of the vote, and so we can be sure that he was the pick for a majority of voters? Stanley Baldwin - before WWII.

    Now, what I'm driving at can be well illustrated by an election in the 1950s. Labour had more votes cast for them, and more seats, than the Conservatives. But there were a number of others, on the ballot under various names - 'independent conservative', 'unionist', and other variants - who'd made it clear that they'd be supporting Macmillan for PM. That party was effectively a coalition, and because they'd made it clear that they'd vote for Macmillan it was perfectly right that Macmillan became PM.

    That's the same premise we've got here. The Greens, SNP, SDLP, and Plaid have all said they'll vote down Cameron. They've not said they'll back Miliband explicitly, but we have to assume if push came to shove they'd not vote against him and would be inclined to side with him rather than risk another election and Tory majority. If that's the composition of parliament, it's the way it is - who has the biggest number of seats can obviously find the votes more easily, but it's all about who can do the maths and command the confidence of the House.

    Now, 2010 was different, because Gordon didn't really have a leg to stand on. I disagree with the suggestion that the Tories 'won' the election - because under our system you've only won if you have a majority. They lost it less badly than Labour did, is the best I think you can say. But I think a government in which the Lib Dems propped up a PM who'd clearly lost the support of the people was a nightmare scenario. So I've no argument with what he did in 2010. I've an argument with his attempting to write constitutional laws based on over-simplifications and misunderstandings in subsequent parliaments.

    But use the same principle 5 years later on, and you've got a not dissimilar situation with Cameron in Gordon's role. I don't see the Tories staying over 300 seats, and think they'll do well not keep their net losses under 30. Labour are going to go up, and the only question is regarding how much. David Cameron couldn't command a majority at his most popular - and now it's likely that even the little support he had is going to be reduced.

    There's obviously nothing stopping him from picking up the phone and calling other people, but no one is obliged to talk to Dave first. If they feel they can only talk to the Labour party about coalition, then there's nothing undemocratic about that. If the majority of MP's are Labour + 'Soft Labour' votes, then the Tories - presumable the largest party, now - would still have no mandate under our system.



    But actually, I suspect a lot of what Clegg says about coalition is somewhat redundant. For argument's sake, let's say the Lib Dems do better than polling suggests and they've got enough seats to be viable as coalition partners. The fact remains that the Lib Dems are two groups in one. On the one hand you've got the Nick Clegg, David Laws, Danny Alexander style group of old-school Liberals, who'd look to the Tories first as natural bedfellows. On the other, you've got the Vince Cable, Simon Hughes, Charlie Kennedy side, who are really more inclined towards Labour.

    The only reason Nick got the coalition through in the first place was because his own stock was sky high. Even if he keeps his seat, his position in the party has never been lower. Frankly, I doubt he could even convince the party to vote for coalition, and there'd be a mutiny if he tried. It's sad to say, because I think he's an honourable man - but if he's leader of the Lib Dems at the end of May, I'll be stunned. It's not the unopinionated comment of earlier in the thread, but my feeling of what I'm seeing and hearing is that one of three things will happen. 1st, he'll lose his seat and have to resign; 2nd, the Lib Dems will lose 40 seats and his party will force him out; 3rd, they'll hold onto 25+ seats and he'll be approached by the Tories for coalition (for the second scenario not to happen Labour have to under-perform nationally) and will try and get his party to vote for it. He'll fail, and after losing he'll feel compelled to resign, probably to be replaced by Vince Cable as the Lib Dems bounce back towards the 'Dems'.



    Of course, I could be miles out, but that's my impression.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 05-02-2015 at 05:51 PM.



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  29. #109
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    It's not proof of anything, and guessing at the aftermath of the election is a mug's game.

    But it's interesting that a day after I typed this...

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    But actually, I suspect a lot of what Clegg says about coalition is somewhat redundant. For argument's sake, let's say the Lib Dems do better than polling suggests and they've got enough seats to be viable as coalition partners. The fact remains that the Lib Dems are two groups in one. On the one hand you've got the Nick Clegg, David Laws, Danny Alexander style group of old-school Liberals, who'd look to the Tories first as natural bedfellows. On the other, you've got the Vince Cable, Simon Hughes, Charlie Kennedy side, who are really more inclined towards Labour.

    The only reason Nick got the coalition through in the first place was because his own stock was sky high. Even if he keeps his seat, his position in the party has never been lower. Frankly, I doubt he could even convince the party to vote for coalition, and there'd be a mutiny if he tried. It's sad to say, because I think he's an honourable man - but if he's leader of the Lib Dems at the end of May, I'll be stunned. It's not the unopinionated comment of earlier in the thread, but my feeling of what I'm seeing and hearing is that one of three things will happen. 1st, he'll lose his seat and have to resign; 2nd, the Lib Dems will lose 40 seats and his party will force him out; 3rd, they'll hold onto 25+ seats and he'll be approached by the Tories for coalition (for the second scenario not to happen Labour have to under-perform nationally) and will try and get his party to vote for it. He'll fail, and after losing he'll feel compelled to resign, probably to be replaced by Vince Cable as the Lib Dems bounce back towards the 'Dems'.
    I read this....

    Quote Originally Posted by The Observer
    Meanwhile, there were growing signs that Clegg could face a revolt from within his own party if he tries to push through a second deal with the Conservatives that includes an agreement to hold an in/out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. The Observer has learned that the business secretary, Vince Cable, is among several senior figures who are upset at an apparent decision by Clegg to abandon his previous opposition to a referendum, except in circumstances where there is a further transfer of powers to Brussels.

    Cable – who is concerned that an in/out referendum will cause huge uncertainty for business – is understood not to have been consulted in detail by Clegg on his change of approach.

    One senior Lib Dem source said: “Vince is not happy about this. He believes that what Clegg is doing is clearing the decks for another coalition with the Tories.” Cable does not believe that a referendum will settle the European issue, which, as with Scottish independence, will come back repeatedly.

    Ed Davey, the Lib Dem energy secretary, has said that an in/out referendum would damage the UK’s ability to influence climate change discussions ahead of a UN meeting in Paris later this year.

    A senior Lib Dem MP added that his party would not “fall for it again” if Clegg demanded a quick resolution to coalition negotiations in the name of national stability. “They will take weeks, not days, this time. We have learned a lesson from 2010,” he said. “The parliamentary party will meet the week following the election, and that will be just the start.”

    While the Lib Dem rule book gives the party’s MPs the main say on whether to approve a new coalition, there will be a special conference of senior party officials that will vote on the deal. Although the decision of the conference is not binding, according to the rules, senior figures say if the conference votes the deal down, Clegg will have to accept defeat.

    A second Lib Dem, who has held ministerial rank in the coalition, added that negotiations would have to deliver exceptional terms to be successful. He said: “I’d have to say, I’d be very reluctant too [to go into coalition]. I can conceive an arithmetic that would put an awful lot of pressure on us to do so. But my general view is that I wouldn’t have a great deal of enthusiasm for it.

    “We’ve lost a third of our members, half of our councillors, two-thirds of our popular voters. And apparently we’re about to lose half of our MPs. Why would we want to do it all over again?”



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  30. #110
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    That final sentence is grim.
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    I'm trying to work out the candidates for that statement. Either way it has to be someone high up.

    We can probably rule out Clegg. Probably Chris Huhne, too. Which leaves you with Vince Cable, Ed Davey, Danny Alexander, Michael Moore, David Laws, or Alistair Carmichael.

    Smart money has to be that Cable and Davey have only been mentioned here because it's either come from them, or one of their close allies. Either way, if Clegg and Danny Alexander lost their seat, it's pretty clear that whoever took over would be less inclined to deal with the Conservatives. And it's far from certain that Clegg could get his senior party members to go along with it, too.



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  32. #112
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    Had a very frightening and revealing conversation with my father and uncle today, both over 50 and both utterly absorbed by UKIP's populism. Talk of English (not British) culture and traditions dying off, though being unable to offer a single example when. I challenged them on it. Claims of Muslim councillors only looking out for Muslim interests. Discussion of the need for higher defence budgets from "those" threats. Mention of how Farage, "enjoys a ***, enjoys a pint and speaks the language of the common man." Health tourism came up, how leaving the EU was only a good thing. Like, it was serious party line stuff and most of it apparently empty sentiment driven politics too.

    Every concern my uncle raised regarding immigration I countered with an aspect of Labour's manifesto designed to tackle and solve said concern. Despite that, UKIP roots were planted deep. Oddly enough, the conversation may have indirectly swung me back towards Labour. I'm torn between those and the Lib Dems.

    But yeah, very scray conversation.

    The kicker was my dad forgot to register to vote. Wonder whether that says anything about UKIP's most effective targets being the disengaged.
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    I think that's a very real issue that we might see play out. We've all heard about how UKIP's vote is too dispersed to win many seats, despite winning more votes than the Lib Dems presumably - but the thing we don't know is how much of the 13% will have said they plan to vote UKIP without actually registering it. I'm sure they believe they'll follow through on it, but it won't actually happen when the time comes.

    I'm not foolish enough to deny that Farage has a certain appeal. In many ways, he's even more appealing to someone like me, than the kind of teflon politics we get from Cameron and the Tories (though that doesn't last long and I usually see through him and see sense). But I also think about when I hear that so many people saying that they will vote UKIP say they didn't vote last time. Then I think, if you didn't vote going into the last election, knowing that your vote could possibly swing an entire election in any of three directions... well, I end up wondering if Nigel has enough appeal to get you to vote this time? That's where I think it might fall down.


    Anyway, 'Plan. I know you don't want to speculate on post-election stuff. But as we've kind of moved into opinions, how would your relationship with the Lib Dems change if they voted down a proposed coalition with either side, or if Clegg was replaced with someone like Cable?



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  34. #114
    Samuel Plan
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    To be honest, I don't consider myself to have a relationship with them to be honest. I identify with them because their politics are generally the most appealing to me, and that has been largely the case now as it was back in 2010 as well. If Clegg is ousted as leader and replaced by someone like Cable, I would still place their policy first and foremost as to whether I continue to identify with them or not. If the split is radical enough, maybe I'll finally find out whether I'm more democrat or liberal.

    If they went into another coalition, it would again come down to policy also. If I believe they have a positively moderating influence as a coalition partner as I genuinely believe they did this last time, I can't foresee too much of a challenge for me. Hopefully though, if that were to be the case, they'd have more of an active presence. Either way, I guess only time will tell. As I go to bed tonight though...I think I'm on the Labour train for now.
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  35. #115
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    Probably wise. The UKIP vote in Chesterfield is expected to increase 5x this time around. They'll finish 3rd at worst, and possibly 2nd if the LD vote melts away more than expected.

    Also when I say that 'Libs' are more inclined to side with the Tories, I only mean that relative to the 'Dems'. The Liberal party, too, backed Labour a few times over the course of the 20th century when we had this kind of situation. The difference is that they are more in between the two parties... while the Dems are the remainder of the Social Democratic Party. They were basically the right wing of the Labour party before New Labour. They'd broken away to form a new party when they thought Labour were too far to the left. Of course, New Labour then positioned their old party to the right of a lot of what they were saying. So in many ways, a lot of those former SDP types, and those who've followed that route into the Lib Dems, find it very hard to deal with Tories. But so did the likes of Paddy Ashdown and Ming Campbell, who came from the Liberal party and not the SDP.

    All relative, basically.


    Got a couple of different sets of numbers. One is just 'national', and if you run that as a prediction you get the Tories leading by four. One is more 'regional', with swings relative in different areas, and if you run that you get Labour leading by four. Which, basically, means for me that the whole thing is going to come down to who gets their vote out on the day.

    I don't know who that favours. Traditionally, you'd say the Conservatives. It's a bit of a truism in politics that there's a lot of 'soft' Labour support out there while Conservatives are much more likely to actually get to the ballot box. But Labour have been ridiculously well organised this election. I've seen some of their set-up in marginal seats, and they've got a veritable army of volunteers aiming to boost their own vote on the day. They might just outmuscle them this time, never mind draw level.


    The upshot of this? If anyone reading this thinks it won't be worth staying up to watch the results in the early hours of the morning on the 8th, think again.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 05-04-2015 at 05:39 AM.



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  36. #116
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    Tactical voting looks set to go through the roof on Thursday. Weirdly, it's not the left but the Tories who seem to be going for it. Clegg is now expected to hold his seat as Conservatives abandon their candidate in droves to save their ally from a Labour surge, and its probably happening elsewhere too. Its also rumoured that Scottish Conservatives are even tactically voting for Labour to try and minimise the surge of the SNP. No sign as yet that Labour are reciprocating in the 2-3 places the Conservatives are stronger.

    But yeah, apparently 1 in 6 seats could be decided by tactical voting. Labour and Tory voters can each save a few Lib Dems if they switch, while Green, Lib Dem, UKIP and Plaid votes being turned to one of the big two could turn many contests one way or the other.



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  37. #117
    Samuel Plan
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    That's really interesting. Could Labour get in off the back of a tactical backlash of some sort? Or is there hope for the Lib Dems yet because of it?

    As the day draws ever closer, my flipping increases! Although, recent forecasts predicting more cuts to the mental health service sway me back to the Lib Dems again. The next forty eight hours are going to be very interesting.
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  38. #118
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    Well, the day is finally here.

    Could Labour get in from a tactical backlash? It's unlikely, to be honest.

    But if the SNP vote doesn't eat into Labour as much as predicted, and they get some tactical votes from Lib Dems and Tories....

    And if people who voted Lib Dem in 2010 break for Labour in the North and midlands, but stay more loyal in the South....

    And if the figures about UKIP taking more votes from the Tories than from Labour is true...


    Then the upshot of all that would be Labour at roughly the same size the Tories were in following 2010. Which would give them the clear mandate and might mean that they'd only need the support of the Lib Dems, say.


    As for hope for the Lib Dems... depends on what you mean by hope, really. They're going to get bloodied, but I guess tactical voting could limit the carnage. If Tories join with them in seats Labour are challenging then they might hold up to 8 they are expected to lose. Some of those are three way marginal, though, so I doubt they'll get that kind of support there.

    I think it's less likely, as many Labour voters see the Lib Dems as 'tainted' and part of a 'Cameron block' rather than truly independent anymore, but if they got past that and joined in en masse they could theoretically deprive the Tories of up to 15 Liberal Democrat seats. Doing this might even be the difference between Labour and Tory being the largest party if it only went/worked one way.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 05-07-2015 at 05:15 AM.



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  39. #119
    Samuel Plan
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    Very exciting day. I voted Labour in the end, for a culmination of reasoning over the last few weeks. It's not because I see the Lib Dems - my more natural choice - as tainted; rather, broken.

    Reading the manifestos last night, I liked those of both Lib and Lab. Of the two though, I felt Labour had the more expedient policy in the sense of tackling directly issues people are concerned about. The Lib Dem document felt more like business as usual. That's fine, but frankly not good enough for me now. Though I agree and like many of their policies, in this dawning age of multiplicity and the growth of parties like UKIP I want to see the bigger parties shift to meet public opinion. Labour's policy on immigration is a massive tick for me because of that. Their approach to education I like very much and their efforts to help first time home buyers close to my heart as one no doubt affected in this coming term. Their stance on the EU and business is similalrly attractive for me.

    I also have to say that Clegg has struck me was rather brow beaten in a generally underwhelming campaign. Lacking verve; conviction even. That tells me that, though I will defend his actions in 2010 still, He may not be able to control his party moving forward if Labour don't come out with the clear mandate tonight. That disenfranchises me toward them. If they can't be the unified moderating force because of the toll of the last five years, coupled with an underwhelming manifesto, I felt compelled to go for Labour instead. Miliband has made me a believer, their policies enthuse me and I believe they can benefit now from being the leaders of a nation with a re-engaging electorate. If under promising and over delivering is the new politics arising from that, that's an optimism I can definitely get on board with.

    A trying choice, but I'm confident the right one.
    Last edited by 'Plan; 05-07-2015 at 02:11 PM.
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  40. #120
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    I have just switched Channel 4 on with a hope to enjoy their election night coverage. I may switch to BBC if it's too much.

    I'll be up all night though. Need to know if I need to buy some plane tickets out of there.

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