’orserace, innit?


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’orserace, innit?

  1. Very interesting lack of correlation between movement in the opinion poll support numbers and seat projections. Dramatic change in support of Lib-Dems results in a mere uptick. And their seat projection still barely registers despite being well above Labour in the polls while Labour still holds most of their seats.

    And Andrew, what are you doing posting at 9:30 pm when the playoffs are on?

    • I think it is because a lot of people are using uniform swing models, which underestimate the rise of the Lib Dems. Yes, if the Lib Dems gained evenly across the country they would gain few seats. Of course they haven't actually gained evenly across the country – most of their gains would have been among swing voters. Indeed, if you look at Angus Reid's regional breakdown, the Lib Dems are running a very close second in the 160 Labour-Tory marginals (where they ran at 17% in 2005).

      The Tories, not Labour, will have the most seats. The Liberal Democrats have a strong chance at being the second-largest party in parliament.

  2. Interesting how the British call a parliament without a clear majority a "hung" government. Sounds like a better descriptor for us; you'd never know with the way the SH government operates that they are in a minority.

    • Steven Harper has a "hung" government? Well there's a visual I could do without…

      • Tch, tch. Good thing you've already established some pundit creds MYL; otherwise I would give you a thumbs down:)

  3. I think the question, and I'm hoping you might shed some light on this, Andrew, is whether a skewed result with Labour winning twice as many seats as the LibDems, with half the vote total, might spark a push to revamp the FPtP model. And if that happened, what would be the repercussions be over here in the Dominion?

    Whatever the result, this has been the best British election in memory. Check out the BBC Radio 4 Friday Night Comedy podcast. Brilliant, funny, and informative. I wish the CBC was capable of the same.

  4. Cameron should be running away with this. Unfortunately, the more people hear him, see him smirk, I guess they're less impressed by him.

    The LibDems putting up their own version of Cameron in Clegg probably messed up the Tory calculations a bit.

  5. No polemics on how the Mother of Parliaments has such a skewed electoral system that Labour could get less votes and still form the government, and how they must adopt proportional representation to fix this travesty of natural justice and common sense, etc. etc. ?

    • Firstly, the outcome won't be nearly as skewed as people suggest. The problem is that the regional breakdowns people are using did not expect a Lib Dem surge. Anyway, you don't need proportional representation to fix those kinds of problems. If there is electoral reform in the UK, I don't think PR is what you'll get. Australia's ranked preference system not only accommodates a more nuanced sense of the voter intentions, it allows for stable majority governments and maintains the existence of individual constituencies (rather than employing a list system).

      Plus it won't give seats to the British national party.

  6. It is the failure of leadership in British politics that is the issue. Looking at the two debates, one observes that party leadership is exercised by 2 upper crust twits neither of whom has anything more substantial than that charm and erudition imparted by conditioning at first class English public schools; and one long-past-his-sell-by-date old line Scottish radical socialist who has succeeded in reducing UK Inc to the upper lower second or upper third rank. What does one expect the British voter, or the 50% of them who bother, to do?

  7. Here is hoping for a Tory-LDP coalition. Britain needs to kick out Labour, but I wouldn't trust Cameron with the powers of a majority PM.

    • How much policy would you figure the two partners in your coalition might agree on?

      • Probably much of it. The biggest compromise would have to come on foreign policy, since the two parties have radically different positions on the EU. The most obvious solution would be for the LDP to surrender the Foreign Ministry to the Tories in exchange for serious influence on social policy, which they and their supporters will probably care about more anyways, and they could also demand electoral reform.

        Besides, Clegg has already made it clear that he would not tolerate working with Brown. A Conservative-LDP coalition could work, because the Tories have clearly moved to Red Toryism on social policy under Cameron anyways, and the Liberal Democrats, on social services, are supposed to prefer the strong, choice-based services that the Tories are campaigning on. They are Liberal Democrats, not Social Democrats, so partnership with Labour, a socialist/social democratic party, should come no more naturally than partnership with the Tories.

        The Canadian misunderstanding is to assume the analogy that Tories= our Conservatives, Labour= our Liberals and LDP= our NDP. In fact, based on ideology, if any reasonable analogy could be made, it would be Labour= our NDP and LDP= our Liberals, compensating for the fact that our Liberals have spent most of their history in power while their Liberals have not held power since the 20s. Yes, they merged with the Social Democrats, but Social Democrats are still closer to Conservatives than Socialists, and Labour is still officially a Socialist party. Yes, the reality isn't quite the same right now, but it is no stretch to believe that the opportunity for power would make the LDP less radical.

        • Also, based on the combined predictions Coyne posted, Tory-LDP might be the only option, other than minority government. The combined predictions have 308 Tory seats, 226 Labour seats, 85 LDP, and 31 Other, out of a total of 650.

          Labour + LDP= 226+85=311, when 50% is 325; there will definitely not be a minority coalition government. Tory + LDP would be 393/650, an overwhelming majority. Assuming these numbers do not change radically, Gordon Brown will have to try to convince the Queen that he can govern in a minority. Unless the opposition is willing to tolerate a minority government led by a PM who has clearly lost most of his public backing, there must be an arrangement made between the Tories and the LDP.

          For Brown to overcome this, Labour and the LDP must collectively take at least 15 of these projected seats from the Tories, and that would create a very unstable coalition. Realistically, they would need to collectively take about 30 seats from the Tories, which would mean that the LDP would have to stop attacking Brown and focus on Cameron, which would be against its own interests, since most lost Tory votes will probably go to Labour, not the LDP.

          I think it is fair to say that a German-style "Grand Coalition" between the Tories and Labour will not be contemplated by either of the two main parties, so I am putting my bets on Tory-LDP.

        • Re the Canadian misunderstanding — you're so right there. Of course a huge cause of that misunderstanding was Tony Blair's radical makeover of Labour, turning it into "New Labour". Ironically, too, Blair's masterful job of keeping far-left Labour wingnuts in the closet can be compared to what Canada's "New Tories" have to do re some of their more colourful ex-Reform MPs . . .

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