1 June 2015

2015 General Election: the worst but one outcome

The outcome of the May 2015 general election in Britain was unpredictable. For the left the worst but one outcome came about.

Before the release of the exit poll on the night of 7 May, the result of the May 2015 election was uncertain and that uncertainty was one of the few things that gave the election some interest. I thought that the Tories might do better than the polls were suggesting, but I never dreamed that they would end up with an overall majority. One thing that still puzzles me today is the extent of the collapse of Liberal Democrat vote in Lib Dem seats, which is the direct cause of the Tory majority.

In the pre-election uncertainty I ranked the possible outcomes from worst to best. My logic was straightforward. I wanted to see the the political right as weak as possible - no UKIP whip hand on government, no Tory overall majority. And I wanted the left to be as influential as possible and I thought that best achieved with a minority Labour government pushed leftwards by being dependent on the SNP, Greens Plaid Cymru.

The actual outcome was my worst but one possibility.

Below is is the list of possible outcomes as understood before the result was declared. The actual outcome is in bold.

1. A Conservative minority government with a parliamentary majority thanks to support from UKIP and/or Ulster Unionists.

2. A Conservative Government with an overall majority.

3. A Conservative-LibDem Government with an overall majority.

4. A minority Conservative government where UKIP and Ulster Unions do not give it a majority.

5. A grand coalition of Conservatives with a Tory Prime minister.

6. A grand coalition of Conservatives and Labour with a Labour Prime Minister.

7. A Labour-LibDem Government with an overall majority.

8. A minority Labour government which does not command a majority with the SNP, Greens and Plaid Cymru.

9. A Labour government with an overall majority.

10. A minority Labour government which has a majority with support from SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru.

No comments: