Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “Hung Parliament”

Fearing the worst

Today, we are a week away from EU elections in the UK (most Europeans vote on the following Sunday – when all the counts are done).

In the UK this election seems to be a proxy for either:

  • a General Election (that is certainly how the leaflet from Labour read)
  • a second EU referendum on various scenarios (Deal /No Deal, and Leave / Remain being the main almost unspoken options).

There seems little discussion of the future shape or policies positions of the EU Parliament. And yet this election could be pivotal and effect the shape and future of the EU.

Read more…
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End of Term Report: Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats, possibly slightly to their surprise found themselves holding the balance of power at the last election and that led to them going into coalition. So how have they done in the last five years?

How do we measure what they have done? On one hand we can measure “how well they have governed” – if we can agree what we mean by “well”. On the other hand we can look at it from the point of view of raw politics. Read more…

Scottish Options

The old elitist parties are getting in a right tizzy about the prospect of the Scottish National Party holding the balance of power in the next Parliament.

But they only have themselves to blame. Read more…

A Programme for the Majority?

Just imagine the following programme for government:

  • Reform
    • A shake up of Westminster
    • Abolition of the House of Lords
    • A fair voting system
  • Public Services
    • No tuition fees
    • Educational Maintenance Allowance including part-time college students
    • The NHS in public hands, halting the tide of NHS privatisation
    • Abolition of prescription charges
    • Explicit protection for the NHS on the face of the TTIP agreement
  • Fairness
    • Pensions that protect our older people.
    • A decent welfare system that helps people into work
    • Eradication of working practices that have no place in a decent, modern economy
    • a Living Wage nation
    • Strengthening of the law against domestic abuse – speed up the court process, give more support to victims, and expand schemes to help offenders change their behaviour
    • Gender Equality: Removal of Systemic and institutional barriers – the pay gap, occupational segregation, a lack of affordable childcare and, sometimes, just outdated attitudes
  • Other
    • No new generation of Trident nuclear weapons
    • Deficit reduction but not slash and burn austerity
    • Stay in Europe

If we could break the internal coalitions in the old elitist parties, could we envisage a parliamentary coalition to support this programme? Read more…

Ruling out partners

Will you rule out a coalition with?

Will you rule out any formal agreement with?

Will you rule out any agreement with?

These questions come from the politicians, the dimblebariat and members of the public (presumably learning from their elders if not their betters)

These questions should be banned. I know, what about “free speech”, but … Read more…

Hidden Coalitions

I recently pondered the coalition permutations that might follow the forthcoming General Election in May 2015. Today I was considering the hidden coalitions in our current parties.

If these hidden coalitions could be unbundled, we might see some more appropriate permutations, which means more stable coalitions possibly with more support. Read more…

Electoral Debates – One out; all out?

We know that the parties are motivated by self-interest when it comes to who they think should take part in the General Election Debates.

But what do the voters think? Read more…

General Election Prospects

Speaking in a personal capacity at the conference in Glasgow on Tuesday, Ms McGuinness told activists how she believed the next election would be contested.

She said: “Let no-one here fool themselves. The next general election campaign will be a really ugly business.

“The Tories will aim to buy the election, with the millions of pounds donated to them by their hot money hedge fund friends. Labour will seek to steal the election, relying on an electoral system so biased in their favour that 35% of the vote could deliver them 55% of the seats.”

UKIP would try to “hijack” the election, she predicted, turning it into an argument about Europe and immigration.

She added: “The one thing that will connect this collection of clowns will be a desperate attempt to marginalise the Liberal Democrats, for what they all fear, above all else, is that once again, the British people will put the balance of power into our hands.”
BBC News website 8 October 2014 : Bercow spokeswoman quits after Lib Dem speech

Leaving aside the slightly odd factor that one of the speaker’s spokeswomen was speaking so politically at a party conference (for which she has since resigned), is this a reasonable projection? Read more…

Manifesto: Introduction

We are now less than a year from an Election and there is much speculation about how various parties are going to do. Doubtless come the Autumn conferences we shall start to see policy proposals coalesce into manifestos.

It will be interesting (post “tuition fees”) whether parties are a bit more cautious as to what they promise or whether they will make “red line” statements that may inhibit any coalition formation.

Read more…

In a Pact Programme …

I am still amazed by the way that the media still can’t get their mind around the implications of having a coalition government.  Some members of the public are not doing to well either.

They seem determined to find winners and losers in the Queen’s Speech.  We seem to have two-party leaders who for better or worse (and I have my doubts) have thrown in their lot with each other. Have Cameron or Clegg betrayed their followers?  Or did the Labour leadership (by its negotiating stance) betray its followers?

No one “won” the election, (despite some Tories claiming their, almost feudal, “right” to rule,) so no one party can “have their way”.  So the alternative is either complete stalemate or a coalition and that means compromise.

Read more…

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