Writing in Guardian on 2 May 2010, the liberal commentator, Will Hutton, outlined the nightmare scenario of untrammelled Conservative Party power in Britain:
[Cameron will] refine the first-past-the-post voting system, reduce the number of constituencies by 10% but in so doing redraw their boundaries to be fairer to the Tories and disqualify Scottish and Welsh MPs from voting on English issues.
The state will become a Conservative fiefdom, with even local police forces directly run by Tory politicians in the name of "democratic accountability". The City of London will not be reformed. Wealth will become ever more concentrated in fewer hands. Scotland, Wales and many English regions will be devastated by swingeing public spending cuts – almost their sole economic prop for the last decade – and by ongoing de-industrialisation.
The management of an economy burdened by excessive private debt, fragile banks and a faltering economic recovery will be ideological. The prison population will grow even faster than under Labour as populist social repression intensifies.
[…] Britain will become a meaner, less generous and more unequal society despite David Cameron's declared intentions. This will be Murdoch's Britain, with the BBC to be cut back and Sky's influence extended.
I view Hutton’s scenario as realistic.
Resulting from the 6 May 2010 British General Election three outcomes are possible on the seemingly certain assumption that the Conservatives will win the most seats.
First, Cameron will achieve an overall majority, however small, and will start to implement the programme which Hutton describes above.
Second, Cameron falls short of his overall majority, but manages to form a minority administration (or less likely woos the Liberal Democrats into a coalition). In government he soft peddles and then dissolves parliament and calls a second election which would probably give him his overall majority – and the nightmare scenario starts.
Third, a non-Tory government, which by necessity would involve a coalition of Labour and the Liberal Democrats, can be formed; the key task of such a government would be to bring about proportional representation and fixed-term parliaments. This government would hardly do anything to challenge the vast levels of social inequality in Britain, but it would at least stop the Tories, as the single largest party in terms of the popular vote and seats in parliament, from being able to link up with capitalist power and complete Thatcher’s unfinished business.
My wish, of course, is for this third option; but I fear that Labour's hope of retaining its eternal role of one of the 'big two' at least for now in terms of seats if not in votes and Clegg's fear of splitting his own party by cuddling up to Labour would stymie such a government.
I am not optimistic.