Tuesday 23 June 2009

Election results

The results of the European and Local elections can't really give good guidance to a general election, partly because the turnout was so low and partly because there were clear signs of a protest vote. Labour's neglect of its traditional constituency explains the BNP's success in getting two MEPs. Like UKIP for the Tories, their vote was a cry for attention from the disenfranchised. The Tories did well but if the results were applied in a General Election, projections suggest they would only have a majority of 28.

The almost universal acceptance that Cameron will be the next PM does not take account of the enormous swing that the Tories need because of the massive bias in constituency allocations to Labour, with Scotland being the worst example. (Something that must be sorted out after the next election). Two other factors: with the general bias in Scotland, Wales and N Ireland, events in the devolved areas could have an exaggerated impact on the outcome. And if the chips are down, the Lib Dems are more likely to support labour, partly because most of their activists are left leaning and partly because they know the Tories will actually do things to get the economy straight again.

So although a Conservative Government is the most likely outcome of the next election, I wouldn't put much money on it. They aren't helped from not having coherent economic policies at the start of the recession, which gives them a weak base to comment on the economy now. They have a year to become coherent - or to hope Labour continues to implode.

A couple of local comments:

- my friend didn't win his local council seat. But he did hold off the NIMBY party to be second.

- in Northumberland there was a low turnout, but the Tory vote was up and the Lib dem vote down - albeit a little. This increases the chances that Berwick upon Tweed could become Conservative again. Which would be good: we need an MP who can actually do things for the area.

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