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Edric O

The 2015 general election in the UK

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Well, first of all, hello again everyone. I have been absent much too long. I couldn't help but think of Fed2k - and PRP in particular - as I was following the news coverage on the British election. We have (or, at least, had) quite a few active posters from the UK here...

 

So it's election night in the UK, and, as the votes get counted, we can look forward to one of the most unusual election results in decades, because:

 

1. Not only is there going to be a hung parliament, but, according to pre-election projections, there won't be any possible majority coalition either. Post-election exit polls, on the other hand, give the Tory-LibDem coalition a razor-thin majority.

 

2. The Scottish National Party looks set to sweep almost all the seats from Scotland. After the defeat of the Scottish independence referendum last year, I thought the SNP was going to collapse or at least decline. But I couldn't have been more wrong. The precise opposite happened: the SNP surged ahead and seems to be (paradoxically) more popular than ever. I think this is great news.

 

3. The much-vaunted rising popularity of UKIP seems to have been much ado about nothing. UKIP looks set to grab two or three seats at most.

 

So, what say you, British and not-so-British loyal readers of PRP threads? :) Is David Cameron going to be able to hold on as Prime Minister, either at the head of a minority government supported by the Ulster Unionists, or maybe in a continuing coalition with the burning wreckage of the Lib Dems? Would it have made any difference if Labour won, anyway, given how much they've moved to the right? Considering the rising fortunes of the SNP, is Scotland going to get another independence referendum soon?

 

And have the Lib Dems been sufficiently humiliated for their betrayal in 2010, or do they need to be wiped out completely?

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Oh, and if you're reading this thread early enough that you'd like to join me in watching the election night coverage live, here is the link to the official results page on the BBC. The map will get filled in as more results are announced:

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/election/2015/results

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Dragoon Knight and I stayed up almost all night as the results came in. Our conversation was, to put it mildly, excitable.

Where to start? You might think that the big news would be Cameron's win, but up here in Scotland the big story was the SNP's utter domination of field. It's hard to convey just what a big deal this is to non-Brits, Scotland has been Labour heartland for as long as the party has existed, Scottish votes held the balance of power more than once in the 20th century. Even as the SNP rose in the Scottish Parliament, at the British level most disaffected Labour voters were drifting towards the Lib Dems. I won't go into the various reasons for the SNP landslide, but I want to emphasise that their triumph was staggering. They won all but three seats, Labour completely lost Glasgow. It was a rout, and it was amazing, and holy lost deposits Batman it was satisfying.

I've been waiting since the last election for the Lib Dems to get their just desserts. This revenge was five years cold, but oh, it was so sweet. So good. Yes I'm a little vindictive, but this was a much deserved punishment, an unequivocal refutation of the watery compromise of the last five years and a near-crucifixion of Nick Clegg. I wasn't even expecting the SNP to triumph as strongly as they did, I just wanted the Lib Dems (and UKIP) to take a long jump into the Atlantic.

In fact, the night was pretty much perfect! Except for one small snag, which is that Cameron did actually win.
Not that I'm much surprised, or even upset. It was kinda inevitable. England just... doesn't have a strong left wing. At all. The left in the south ranges from incompetent to ineffectual, Wales is no better, and Northern Ireland makes both of them look like a happy daydream of Marx and Engels.

So Cameron's back, and this time he doesn't have to please the Lib Dems (snort). He's promised a referendum on EU membership as a sop to the UKIP-lite wing of his party, and that's going to be pretty interesting, because nobody in the world really wants the UK out of the EU except bits of England. If England does vote to leave then all that "Scotland won't have another referendum for a generation" talk will vanish like morning dew and we'll be out of here so fast it'll look like a time warp.

Or so I expect.

Cameron's greatest strength, I think, is his ability to conceal what a turd he is. Now that he's expected to do what the less subtle members of his party want, it'll be interesting to see if he can still command his wafer-thin majority three years from now.

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I see a lot of similarities between Corbyn's success and the rising popularity of Bernie Sanders in the U.S. Both are genuine progressives/semi-outsiders (Sanders being an independent senator in Vermont), and I think convey a sense of authenticity that many voters, particularly younger voters, crave.

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I'd suggest making a new topic for Sanders, but, well, not sure there's people enough for a discussion. My worry is that he's only getting as much attention as he is because he's being compared to Trump et al. Extremism on one side would breed a stronger lurch in opposition. So if/when the Republicans come to their senses and put forward a moderate like Bush (and that he's considered a moderate tells you a great deal, none of it good), Sanders may start to seem a bit extreme for the mainstream.

 

That said, Corbyn succeeded and is now leader of the opposition. I'm pleased to see Labour returning to its roots, but I have doubts on his appeal to the richer folks.

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