Post-Election Blues (With Cough)
From revelation to devastation, which aint too wild a way to put it. After the leader debates lifted Liberal Democrat poll fortunes to hitherto unscaled heights, it was perplexing to see the post-voting exit polls with LDs actually losing seats. Preposterous, I laughed, and settled down for a loooong night of steadily bleakening results news. Now, in the cold hard light of a media-drenched morning, it appears that the poll hike had not been a political event but a mass media celeb-type event. Once in the polling booth, other factors combined to squeeze the Liberal Democrat support, including the unexpected resilience of the Labour vote, which failed to crash and burn. I knew things were grim when, by 3.30am Labour and the Tories had broken past the 100-seat mark and we were still bumping along with 15.
And yet we are now thoroughly locked into the hung parliament zone. Nick Clegg made a sloppy mistake in stating that the party with the largest number of seats had the moral right to govern. Which is a silly thing for a Liberal Democrat to say; we are the PR party, therefore only the party or coalition of parties commanding a majority of the electorate’s support has the moral right to form a government. But now Labour and the Tories will be making their offers, and since the Lib Dems are in a weaker state than we had wished for we’ll have less clout in determining certain leadership arrangements. In other words, if we do end up in coalition with Labour then El Gordo will in all likelihood be PM. Depressing, I know.
On the other hand, electoral reform to PR now seems unstoppable, and under such a system the political landscape will at last start to resemble the actual voting sensibilities of the public.
(Oh yes, and I do now have a bit of a nasty cough – great)
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