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Author Topic: UK (&NI) General Election  (Read 1166 times)

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Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2015, 04:31:35 PM »
If that exit poll's correct... and it's a big if as always with exit polls... most of the stuff I mentioned in the first post looks likely; Labour getting smacked around in Scotland by the SNP and not making up for that with gains elsewhere, Conservatives as the single biggest party... and on the cusp of an outright majority... and the Lib Dems, DUP and as an outside shot UKIP all possible kingmakers in a Conservative led coalition.

While it would be horrible in real life the thought of Nigel Farage demanding the foreign secretary role does make me smile a bit.

Again running on the big if, if that poll's correct then Labour have run a truly awful campaign. It may not quite be the longest suicide note in history but to have done so little damage to a fairly (at least until today) main government party is a pretty damning reflection on them, their campaigning and the popularity of their policies.

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2015, 04:47:03 PM »
Double post:

You can tell it's early in election night as there's now another exit poll from YouGov which paints it as much closer with Conservatives on 284 to Labour's 263 and the Lib Dem holding on at around 30/31.

Offline Khoraz

Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2015, 04:52:18 PM »
Double post:

You can tell it's early in election night as there's now another exit poll from YouGov which paints it as much closer with Conservatives on 284 to Labour's 263 and the Lib Dem holding on at around 30/31.
This gives me hope at least.

I didn't realise that exit polls could be so polarised - I've never paid attention to them before.

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2015, 04:55:11 PM »
Triple post:

Kythia will be happy that the mighty Sunderland South got in first.

Sunderland South was pretty much always a safe Labour seat so there's not much to read into the outright result; the majority was increased but not by much. What is more interesting... but which may not mean anything in such a safe seat... is that UKIP managed over 8,000 which pushed the Conservatives into third place while the Lib Dem's managed a paltry 790 odd votes... below the Greens. That said, if you added up all of the other parties they still didn't beat the Labour total which makes it a seat prime for protest votes.

On a side note David Dimbleby gets more and more senile every time I see him on TV.

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2015, 04:58:38 PM »
Double double post?

This gives me hope at least.

I didn't realise that exit polls could be so polarised - I've never paid attention to them before.

Bit of a correction; it looks like the YouGov poll wasn't an exit poll. Instead they checked with some of the people they'd previously contacted and as nothing seemed to change decided to keep the same breakdown as the last one.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2015, 06:05:06 PM »
UKIP is set to become the third biggest party in the popular vote, with a clear margin (and especially in England) according to the Beeb. Interesting parallel to the situation after the elections last autumn in Sweden, where the Sweden Democrats, the same kind of party, jumped to third biggest and triggered a parliamentary conundrum, almost a cabinet crisis (around here, the national vote share translates closely into number of actual seats, unlike the UK with its single-seat polling system).

Meanwhile it does look like SNP have made a massive sweep in Scotland, almost as strong as the exit polls indicated, and likely throwing Labour out in most places.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2015, 08:52:05 PM »
For those of us who live on this side of the Atlantic, what do each of the major parties stand for in terms of policies? The terms 'Liberal' and 'Conservative' mean very different things in American politics than they do European politics, from what I understand.

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2015, 09:08:25 PM »
For those of us who live on this side of the Atlantic, what do each of the major parties stand for in terms of policies? The terms 'Liberal' and 'Conservative' mean very different things in American politics than they do European politics, from what I understand.

Conservative: Centre-right. Generally seen as the party of tradition, businesses and the aspirational. Previously more heavily tradition based but from Thatcher onwards they've gone in more of a "self-improvement" direction.

Labour: Centre-left. Traditionally the part of unions, socialism and welfare, post Blair they've moved to the centre and tried to balance a "third way" with taking the profits of capitalism and spending them on welfare.

Lib Dems: Roughly in the centre but leaning left. Less interested in the economic side of things and more interested in the social. Emphasis on civil rights and social justice. Over the past decade or so they've been somewhat of an unholy alliance between more left wing idealists and libertarian style thinkers (although the emphasis is still largely on civil rights).



As things stand that exit poll is looking basically right. Labour are being wiped out by the SNP in Scotland and are struggling for any gains elsewhere. The Lib Dems are suffering everywhere while the Conservatives are making some small gains. Likely result remains the Conservatives being the biggest party but not quite managing a majority... although a narrow majority is looking like less of long shot.

Quick edit to say the BBC coverage leaps between the laughably awful and the rage-inducingly terrible. Obviously trying to fill the air when there's not much happening is a challenge but they keep losing the audio and video for the vote results... that's simply not acceptable.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2015, 09:13:00 PM by consortium11 »

Offline Warlock

Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2015, 11:13:48 PM »
BBC shut down. Hopefully it'll be up again soon.

Labour somewhat ahead of the Conservative. LibDems are losing, hard. SNP having roughly one-third the number of either Labour or Conservative. Half the seats are declared.

Seeing UKIP have only one seat, makes me personally happy.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2015, 11:29:57 PM by Warlock »

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #34 on: May 07, 2015, 11:25:17 PM »
BBC shut down. Hopefully it'll be up again soon.

Labour somewhat ahead of the Conservative.
LibDems are losing, hard. SNP having roughly one-third the number of either Labour or Conservative. Half the seats are declared.

Seeing UKIP have only one seat, ,akes me personally happy.

That's largely deceptive; the Conservative's main electoral strongholds haven't declared yet and it would be almost incomprehensible if they didn't bring a huge wave of Tory MP's in.

Offline Kythia

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Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #35 on: May 07, 2015, 11:38:28 PM »
Sunderland South always get in first.

This is the first election I haven't stayed up for in years, which is perhaps meaningful on its own. Can't say I'm surprised by anything that's happened, really.

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #36 on: May 07, 2015, 11:44:47 PM »
Sunderland South always get in first.

Newcastle put a real effort into trying to challenge them this year. Unfortunately I assume they put John Carver in charge because they rather cocked it up

This is the first election I haven't stayed up for in years, which is perhaps meaningful on its own. Can't say I'm surprised by anything that's happened, really.

I'm surprised quite how badly wrong the polls were on how Labour and the Conservatives would end up... although after their high profile failure in the Israeli election perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised. It was also quite a moment to watch all those Labour seats in Scotland fall in a rush and likewise Vince Cable losing his seat was a bit of a highlight.

Oh, and George Galloway had the police called on him so that's always enjoyable.

Offline Kythia

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Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2015, 11:49:54 PM »
The problem is Milliband can't manage a world stage. He's just plain the wrong milliband. At the moment I'm hoping for an outright tory majority, what I really don't want to see is a tory/dup alliance. My best friend is from Derry, and quite definitely not from Londonderry, so that might be colouring my view but I just can't stand the dup. There wasn't a profanity strong enough to describe Paisley.

Just reading about Galloway now. Prick.

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2015, 11:55:50 PM »
The problem is Milliband can't manage a world stage. He's just plain the wrong milliband. At the moment I'm hoping for an outright tory majority, what I really don't want to see is a tory/dup alliance. My best friend is from Derry, and quite definitely not from Londonderry, so that might be colouring my view but I just can't stand the dup. There wasn't a profanity strong enough to describe Paisley.

Even setting aside the DUP's often objectionable "characters" having a Tory majority may be preferable simply because of what the DUP could demand. The figure of a billion pounds has been thrown around (albeit somewhat jokingly) and while political horse-trading and legal bribery may be a reality of coalition government it would leave a bad taste in the mouth for Northern Ireland to get a huge windfall while the rest of the UK still struggles.

Just reading about Galloway now. Prick.

He's told me to fuck off on two seperate occasions. It's one of the highlights of my political career.

Danny Alexander's just loss his seat. Not unexpected but still a bit mad to see it happening. The long and proud history of senior members of both the Labour and Lib Dem parties coming from Scotland has just been beheaded.

David Laws gone as well.

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2015, 12:08:05 AM »
And that's Galloway gone... lost by about 11,000 votes. That's a real kicking.

Offline Kythia

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Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #40 on: May 08, 2015, 12:09:36 AM »
I'm intrigued to know more about Galloway...

The snp vote is interesting. Someone, you?, mentioned it could be people who like snp policies but didn't want independence and so now feel safe to vote for them and that strikes me as true.

I don't feel horse trading with Norn Iron is a bad thing per se, I think it could stand to have stronger links with Westminster (and Dublin but that's a conversation for another thread) but yeah, exactly how much would be needed is a worry. Plus the fact that basically anything causes riots, the dup being in power would be...man.

Missed your crack about John Carver somehow. Honestly, I like him. He's absolutely shit, obviously, but I'd written this season off anyway and am now just looking for peanut throwing.

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #41 on: May 08, 2015, 12:25:21 AM »
I'm intrigued to know more about Galloway...

He came to my university to give a speech and, during the Q&A session I asked whether he ever thought his bombastic antics ended up detracting from his positions. He called me a "pathetic, drunken student Trot with no knowledge of the real world" and then told me to fuck off.

Second time round was when I was living in Bromley by Bow and he was campaigning to be MP there. His battle bus parked right outside my flat and I thought it was the gentlemanly thing to do to go up, shake his hand and then remind him what he called me previously. The response was basically the same.

The snp vote is interesting. Someone, you?, mentioned it could be people who like snp policies but didn't want independence and so now feel safe to vote for them and that strikes me as true.

Yeah, that's my take. The Scottish people didn't want independance (as was proven during the referendum) and so were scared of voting for SNP when that meant possibly leaving the UK. Now that the referendum's done and dusted people aren't afraid of that any more and so feel happy to vote for them in preference to Labour.

I don't feel horse trading with Norn Iron is a bad thing per se, I think it could stand to have stronger links with Westminster (and Dublin but that's a conversation for another thread) but yeah, exactly how much would be needed is a worry. Plus the fact that basically anything causes riots, the dup being in power would be...man.

I'd assume that with the Tory's being the vastly larger partner in a coalition they could generally keep the DUP in check but I fully admit it's still a concern.

Missed your crack about John Carver somehow. Honestly, I like him. He's absolutely shit, obviously, but I'd written this season off anyway and am now just looking for peanut throwing.

He's (unintentionally I assume) hilarious. Did you catch him describing himself as the best coach in the Premier League? Even better was how a moment later he followed up by saying he was doing the job to the best of his ability. If you're the best coach then the best of your ability is not the awful results he's been getting.

Offline Kythia

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Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #42 on: May 08, 2015, 12:32:28 AM »
On my phone so quoting is hard.

You don't strike me as a trot. Amusingly my phone tried to autocorrect that to twat. I live whether you strike me as one of them as an exercise for the reader. ;D

Yeah, I saw that interview. Said it before and say it again, our issues are in the boardroom not on the pitch and getting results is an objectively difficult job. Carver, though, is not the man for it.  We'll see how Mclaren does. 

I'm for a run. Back later. You should sleep.

Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #43 on: May 08, 2015, 12:35:06 AM »
I'm basically the opposite of a Trot which made the remarks even better. When you consider what University it was at and what insinuation of that university I suspect finding a Trot, drunk or not, would have been a massive challenge.

I'm getting paid to write about the election so I'm up till the bitter end (or close to it). If nothing else there's still the chance of Balls losing and Farrage missing out.

Offline Kythia

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Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #44 on: May 08, 2015, 12:39:23 AM »
Moyes, sorry, not Mclaren. Blame the morning, can't think until I've had a beer.

If you want to throw me a link to what you write that'd be awesome, but I'd understand if that's bringing two different worlds too close.


Offline consortium11Topic starter

Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #45 on: May 08, 2015, 08:31:17 AM »
So, that's it.

To say this is a stunning conservative victory is putting it mildly.

The simple truth is that no-one saw the Conservatives increasing their number of MP's, let alone winning an overall majority. And why would they? The last election... which featured a remarkably unpopular Labour government and came in the midst of a financial crisis... saw the Conservatives fail to win one and the idea that they would now when they're in government and have gone through with a pretty unpopular austerity regime was seemingly ludicrous, especially with the suggestion that UKIP would split the right wing vote. As a general rule governments lose seats at elections... the last one where the number increased was back in the 1980's... and with a number of very marginal Tory held seats it was fully expected that the Conservatives would at best stand still. Instead they've triumphed. Looked at in isolation this is far from a crushing result; 331 seats (the predicted result) is a fairly slim majority. But in context it's massive. The Liberal Democrats have been virtually wiped out, losing almost all of their notable MP's. Labour have been badly bruised, losing some big hitters of their own (notably Ed Balls) and having their power base in Scotland destroyed. UKIP got the votes (12% in total) but not the seats and the evidence suggests they took more votes from the Lib Dems and Labour then they did the conservatives.

So, why did it happen?

Here are my brief thoughts.

1) Scotland

The SNP clearly did remarkably well in Scotland, winning all but three seats. This had the obvious impact of getting rid of about 40 Labour MP's but that didn't make a massive difference in and of itself; an extra 40 MP's wouldn't have won Labour a majority. I think the effect was somewhat more subtle then that. As the campaign went on and it became more and more clear that the SNP would do well Sturgeon and Sammond became more and more bellicose about what that would mean and the power it would give them. If the results had gone as previously expected then a Labour government could only rule because the SNP decided to support it and the SNP were open about the fact that they'd demand huge benefits for Scotland as the price of that support. The Conservative campaign picked up on that and I suspect more than one undecided voter made their final decision to vote Conservative rather than Labour in marginal seats as much to keep the SNP out as to keep the Conservatives in.

2) The Economy

It hasn't actually been the biggest focus of the campaign but with a first term dominated by the financial crisis and the austerity policies that followed it was never far from the mind. The Conservatives were aided by the fact that over the past year or so the economic news has generally been positive (which seemingly indicates their policies are working) and that other countries in Europe who took a slightly more left-wing approach are struggling (which makes the Labour criticism look inaccurate). Perhaps more importantly though the Labour party still struggled to get to grips with its own time in office and role overseeing the start of the crisis. A large number of its most high profile members were also high profile members of the Brown-led Government and they were never able to distance themselves from it and the sense that they still weren't trustworthy with the economy. An attempt to defend their own record was an attempt to defend Brown's record and the idea that the Brown government massively overspent has been fixed in the public's eye.

3) Milliband himself

You may think it's unfair to mention, but Milliband struggles to appear Prime Ministerial. He comes across as the person who thinks up policies and writes speeches in back rooms, not the one who delivers them on a podium. Frankly, he's just awkward, fairly uncharismatic and lacking a real presence. You may think that doesn't matter... but it actually may well do. Could he stare down Salmond and Sturgeon? Could he face off with other European leaders? And how would he fair if stuck in a negotiating room with Putin? Furthermore the manner of his ascent to the leadership of the Labour Party and the perception that he stabbed his brother in the back to get there stuck. We all know that party politics if full of shabby deals and treachery... we just don't like to see it.

4) Lib Dems and UKIP

Most expected the Lib Dem vote to collapse, even if not dramatically as it actually did. Labour hoped that most of those voters would come to them and that in turn UKIP would split the ring wing vote, hurting the Conservatives. Neither really happened. The Lib Dem vote didn't go wholescale to Labour and UKIP seemed to pick up most of its support from it. In seats where the Lib Dems and Conservatives were primarily competing the Torys won and Labour were reduced to third place, in places where the Tory's and UKIP were neck and neck the Tory's won and in places where Labour and the Conservatives were close voters turning to UKIP wasn't enough to give Labour the edge. Some of UKIP's best results came not in the Conservative dominated south but the Labour held north and repeated a trend we saw previously with the BNP; while both it and UKIP were seen as right wing parties their generally negative take on immigration finds much of its traction with working class voters who were previous "old" Labour supporters living in industrial heartlands.

Where does that leave us?

Cameron is the clear victor today and the buzz from managing this success will last a while. But he needs to be careful. A slim majority gives backbenchers more power and the Conservative backbenchers have tended to be a troublesome and rebellious lot. Today they may be utterly loyal and supportive as Cameron delivered the majority they craved. But two years from now? Especially once the discussion on the EU comes to a head? Expect rebels.

Labour need a new leader and face a tough choice of where to go. Milliband tried to distance himself and the party from Blair and Brown but never really managed it getting all of the downsides with none of the positives. Do Labour react by going more to the left? Or do they head back for the centre and the ground that Blair once so skillfully occupied? The Lib Dems have been destroyed but the question is whether this is a one-off reaction to the coalition (and so the voters may return next time) or a longer lasting blow.

Even the SNP have concerns. Their campaign has been a triumph but it was a campaign based around "standing up for Scotland" and the power that they would wield in Westminster. With a Conservative majority they wield no power at all. Cameron appears willing to grant their wish of more devolved powers going to Scotland... but with his majority he can dictate the terms and method of those powers. Looked at utterly cynically Cameron may wish to give them everything they want because a strong SNP hurts Labour (for the reasons mentioned above) but they would be far from the first party to find that power and responsibility is not the golden goose they hoped it was... look at the Lib Dems this time.

Online Cassandra LeMay

Re: UK (&NI) General Election
« Reply #46 on: May 08, 2015, 10:28:59 AM »
I feel sorry for Miliband. Yes, he is a different sort of politician than many, perhaps more of an intellectual or academic in his nature than people are looking for in a Prime Minister, but that is exactly why I like him. He strikes me as someone who would think and look before he leaps, and I am of the opinion that the world needs more politicians like that, not less.

On the other hand a part of me feels glad for him. as heading a minority government dependent on SNP support and against a Conservative opposition almost as strong as a governing Labour party could have quickly destroyed him and made governing a living nightmare. That I would not have wished on him, as much as I agree with his policies and would have liked to see Cameron leaving No. 10.