Cameron up shit creek as defeat beckons

Cameron’s last desperate throw by rousing English nationalism is clearly aimed at saving Tory seats in areas where the UKIP challenge is pressing hardest, in order to ratchet up the total number of Tory seats which, when combined with likely allies, will enable him to just slip over the line back into Downing Street.   On that basis, according to the latest polls, the LibDems might get 27 seats (a drop of nearly half), UKIP might get 1, and the DUP (Paisley’s fundamentalist Protestant party) will probably have 9 seats.   Even these assumptions are far from certain: Clegg may not win his own seat and substantial sections of both the Tory and LibDem parties may well be strongly opposed to resurrecting a coalition that both loathed after their experience of the last 5 years.   But even leaving that aside, to get to the magic number of 324 (i.e. after excluding the Speaker and the Sinn Fein MPs who refuse to attend Westminster), the Tories still need 287 seats.   On current evidence is that likely?

If the election had taken place last weekend and had ended in accordance with the poll findings at that time, the Tories would have won 274 seats and the whole pro-Tory bloc 311, 13 short of the number required.   The anti-Tory bloc of Labour, SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Greens, the SDLP, and Lady Hernon (an independent) would have totalled 333 MPs, 9 over the threshold necessary.

Those are the broad figures, but they still conceal some huge underlying political uncertainties.   In particular, will the LibDems really sacrifice their profound commitment to Europe by assenting to a referendum on a British exit from the EU, all in order for Clegg and his allies to stay in power?   Clegg is the most india-rubber politician of modern times, having sold the pass on tuition fees, austerity, education maintenance allowances, and some aspects of human rights: one wonders if there are any red lines he wouldn’t cross to keep himself close to Downing Street.   But for all his overweening ambition, can he take his party with him?

There is also the uncertainty of what would happen if Clegg were defeated at Sheffield Hallam (the latest polls suggest he will probably just stay on).   There would have to be an immediate election among LibDem MPs.   If Ed Davey or Norman Lamb won, they would probably team up again with the Tories; if Tim Farron or Vince Cable won, they would be much more inclined to go with Labour.


9 thoughts on “Cameron up shit creek as defeat beckons

  1. The BBC News tonight reported that Nick Clegg would ”’negotiate with the party that wins the most seats, first ” (that of course depends on if he’ll win his own seat).

  2. I can never before, (and I was pushing election addresses through letter boxes at the age of 12,) remember feeling quite such a profound sense of weariness, boredom and ennui at this point in any previous election campaign.

    Our politician’s narcissism and the media’s obsession with poles grow ever more tedious and debilitating by the day and still without any serious attempt by either political party to contest or even to seriously acknowledge the real issues, (massive unemployment; IDS’s cull of the disabled; failures governance and accountability; poverty and exploitation widespread and growing; the consequences of TTIP; the EU; immigration; loss of UK political independence; lack of decent, affordable and particularity of social housing: US proxy wars; personal, corporate and political corruption at every level; inequality; lack of access to education, health care or law……..) or to win hearts and minds, by 2 wholly unconvincing and frankly equally slimy candidates, (who some would say are both equally completely divorced from the real lives of the 80% of people in the UK who are not part of their self styled elite,) and both of whom are essentially just a pair of multi millionaire right wing Tory wing-nuts anyway.

    As I’ve commented here previously, at the election I’ll almost certainly now be voting UKIP, (as will many other people that I know,) but what I’ve probably failed to fully convey is just how potent and visceral my dislike of pretty much everything that they, (UKIP,) stand for and represent actually is and how deeply I resent being forced to lend them my support for lack of anything less distasteful.

    UK politics has never in my lifetime been more dysfunctional or more broken or seemed so completely in the grip of a small and unrepresentative clique of delinquent, corrupt and entrenched cronies or so much, to be now just another tired shabby racket.

    I never ever though I could get bored with politics, but I am, bored and nauseated.

  3. Dear Mr. Meacher on your next article please can you tell me a fairy story to allay my fears of this corrupt bunch getting back in. It would ease my mind if only for a few days, the thought of what they would inflict on the masses if they win gives me nightmares.

    I truly believe Mr. Miliband is not making the right noises to over ten million disabled, nor has he mentioned fuel duty which effects millions of drivers reliant on vehicles for their business, all very relevant issues and also vote winners.

  4. I too am bored and rather sick of the campaigning but I’m also worried, depressed, despairing and frightened by the prospect of the Tories staying in government. They won’t tell us where and what exactly, or even inexactly (is that even a word?) they will cut even more from Welfare. They appall me. Commentators say they are afraid of the public reaction – considering they’ve bamboozled large swathes of the public, helped by much of the media, that what they’ve done is fair to all the ‘hard working families’ – well, it’s terrifying that they are worried those same people will think they’re going much too far. I thought the cuts had already been life changing for thousands and I know of many who have been bullied into self-employment that doesn’t pay, or are too scared to fight or apply for what they are genuinely entitled too.
    I’m very worried that people think voting UKIP is even a reluctant alternative. Giving a party with such pernicious and poisonous p, policies, more power, seems very dangerous to me. It won’t be seen as reluctant voting by voters who don’t really support them. I do understand why people might feel it’s the only viable alternative and a way to break the stranglehold of the main parties. I just could not vote for them and the possibility that they could be in a coalition with the Tories is even worse than the Tories with any other party.
    I don’t feel that any of the big 3 represent people like me and I don’t feel able to follow my heart, in who I vote for and not only because I don’t live in Scotland, or Wales come to that.
    I feel I’m going to have to vote with keeping the Tories out, as my priority and I hope to God we can. Shame on you Labour and Lib Dems, for making it that way.
    If your party leader where like you, Mr Meacher, it would be a different story but sadly, they aren’t and it’s not.
    But vote UKIP, never!

  5. I don’t really follow your logic; that voting for a right wing multi millionaire property speculator, one with close family connections to the corrupt banking sector and his lying thieving mates is somehow, “keeping the Tories out.”

    Just how Tory do have to be for you not vote for them?

  6. Shame on you, J.P!
    Criticizing someone who is well past retirement age and could afford to spend time with his feet up in warmer climes, yet works very hard for a better country and fairer society, for the likes of ungrateful people like you!

    We have far too few people standing up for us. He’s to be admired, and most certainly not criticized!

  7. Wanda Lozinska-

    Unless you assumed, (mistakenly,) that my comment above was directed at Mr Meacher, a man for whom I still have greatest respect, (other than possibly regarding his choice of friends,) and whose personal wealth I regard as a legitimate fruit of personal prudence, character and possibly of have been brought up by an accountant, something quite different to sticky fingered sleazbags like Miliband, Balls, Umma et al

  8. Wanda Lozinska-

    Also to further clarify my position regarding Mr Meacher for you, he remains a man whose qualities include also the patience and perhaps even the interest to listen to his constituents even when we disagree with Labor policy, rather than attempting simply to dictate it to us a labor generally do.

    It therefore remains a source of considerable anger and bitterness to me that I will not, (in all conscience,) be able to vote Labor, (on whom I wish ever form of damnation,) at next election.

    There is a perfect quote from Neil Portman, (Amusing Ourselves to Death,) that I can’t find, but which in essence states that there is no sound argument at all, ever, for voting for a, “good,” man in a rotten party, because in doing so you legitimize the rest of and let them in.

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