Nick Clegg leader of the Liberal Democrats, said his party was an anchor to Labour or the Tories. Offering various body parts too, brain or heart, as needed. The British electorate responded to the thought of this Frankenstein’s monster coalition by throwing 90% of his MPs overboard. The body part shown to Nick Clegg was the finger.
The least he could do, despite holding on to his seat in Sheffield, was to go down with the sinking ship. It was not liberalism that died at the polls. It died as a national party with the coalition.
Ed Balls, the Labour Shadow Chancellor, lost his seat by about 400 votes. Labour leader Ed Miliband did worse than Gordon Brown. Worse than 2010, following a financial crisis and a leader publicly calling a pensioner a bigot for worrying about immigration. One million people are now using food banks. Disabled people are dead, while a letter comes through their letter box saying they are fit to work.
Those things mattered not as much as these issues for the electorate: ensuring a commitment to pay off the National Debt with big deficit cuts, challenging the SNP in the House of Commons who claimed they would boss a Labour Minority government, and finally letting the British electorate have a say on Europe.
David Cameron has a majority government. I had an inkling it was going to be their night, but not this outright majority. Family members and people I know in care industry were voting Conservative because of those three big issues above – especially regarding SNP. Having voted for the Liberal Democrat (one of those wiped out) candidate in a constituency where Labour only get 5%, I saw a dead baby chick in the road outside the polling station. The omens and what people were saying, were clear enough.
Ed Miliband has now resigned as well as I write. Labour failed to grasp and deal with realities about narrative on the economy. They failed to look credible as a Government in waiting. Stone pledges, milifandom, proud not to have responded to a tyrant launching chemical weapons, failing to acknowledge national debt was rising under Labour before the financial crisis.
In some ways it is a relief that we do have a majority government, as I wrote in April to avoid the poisoned chalice the SNP offered Miliband. How Sturgeon could say she offered to lock out the Tories with Labour, while advocating the English go out and vote Green which would prevent effectively doing that. Yet with just one Labour MP, one Conservative MP, one Liberal Democrat MP ultimate victory in Scotland is Sturgeon’s. The massacre of Labour senior MPs was something to behold as the leader of Scottish Labour Murphy went and shadow foreign secretary Alexander to a university student.
David Cameron has to play this well against the SNP, and he has the hand to do it, all be it with a small overall majority. Will he now push for a federal United Kingdom with devo Max to save the Union, or will SNP exploit any chinks that he will be the last UK Prime Minister? Will we end up leaving the EU? Who will be the new Prime Minister when Cameron steps down during this term?
The biggest problem Cameron will have is a leadership candidate wanting to use those above issues to force a leadership contest sooner rather than later. That consideration should rule out thoughts that a Conservative majority will guarantee stability. The political manoeuvring and planning was probably happening as the champagne flowed for the Conservatives.
As David Cameron meets the Queen to confirm he will form a government, the electorate have spoken. Their will be done, and has been to devastating effect. The Conservatives now this second have a majority with 326 MPs, with seven more results to come.
On VE Day, it is a Conservative victory in England and therefore in the House of Commons.
The cartoon of my tweet was done live here.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog