Hung Parliament Leaves All Parties Hungover

An extraordinary election.  No supporter of the mainstream parties will wake this morning with anything other than disapointment about the national picture:

  • The Lib Dems must be crest-fallen.  The supposed surge was illusionary.  The expected shift to second place proved a fantasy.
  • Labour had their worst electoral night for decades. Unless Clegg pulls a spectacular U-turn it is clear that they cannot form a Government and have lost this election.
  • Despite this being the Conservatives ‘best gains in an election for 80 years’ with an even higher percentage of the vote than Labour got at the last election –  I’d be a liar if I said I was anything other than very disappointed with last nights results.   Yes, Labour ‘lost’ but the Conservatives can’t say we had the clear ‘win’ we all worked so hard for.

Nobody wakes up feeling great this morning.

Locally for me, there was an extra blow.   Despite great progress in the West Midlands in general,  in Birmingham itself we didn’t get a break-through in the City.  Deidre Alden in Edgbaston is very much in my thoughts today.  I can only begin to imagine the emotional investment she has put into her fight for this seat over more than half a decade.  I wish her well.  It was a remarkable result for Gisela Stuart and it would be churlish of me to say otherwise.  In Birmingham Ladywood where I was the Candidate’s Agent I took genuine comfort that we increased our share of the vote from 8% to 12% in a seat that we were told we  had gone into oblivion – but obviously this local advance in a third place seat is meaningless for the overall national picture.

I’m tired – it was an all-nighter for me at the National Indoor Arena count.  I’m deeply depressed by the whole hung-parliament scenario.  Even if we can form a Government through coalition or a minority administration I cannot see us being able to push through the ‘big ideas’ and more radical policies that drew me to fight for the Conservatives in this election.   An election campaign takes a real toll on candidates, agents and activists – it is physically and emotionally exhausting and work and family inevitably suffer.  I doubt any of us in any party have any appetite to go through it all again in short order.  The onus is now on the party leaders to find something that can work that will avoid that.  But unless that ‘something’ allows us to implement our agenda then a return to the polls will be necessary.  Power for powers sake isn’t why people should be in politics – if you can’t  implement your agenda and are crippled by the politics of compromise then it isn’t worth it.  I will sleep now.  Let the dust settle and see if the metaphoric hangover shifts.

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6 Comments

Filed under Election

6 responses to “Hung Parliament Leaves All Parties Hungover

  1. Steve Sant

    Im afraid you have not won and precedent is with Gordon Brown who as sitting PM gets first go at forming a government.If,as I suspect,Labour is forced by Nick Clegg to introduce electoral reform without a referendum the Tory Partys last ever PM will have been John Major for yesterday showed that despite everything the Tories cannot win the electorate over under any system and certainly will have zero chance of forming a government under PR.As a former miner thrown onto the dole by Mrs Thatcher for having the audacity to strike to save my job and the jobs of my friends I find this scenario most appealing.We shall keep the Red Flag flying high after all.

    • Steve, you are of course right that Brown has first dibs but as Clegg ruled out a deal with Brown this morning it is academic.

      I’ve commented on this blog many times about the fact that for such a huge proportion of the population the word ‘Tory’ and ‘Thatcher’ are one and the same and spat out when spoken. Their personal experiences of the 80s mean even 30 years later they wont give anyone in blue a fair crack of the whip. It’s much the same that many who had a rotten time under Callaghan (or Wilson) could never imagine voting Labour again – the key difference being that Blair managed to disassociate himself so much with ‘old’ Labour that people took a second look and gave him a chance – Cameron clearly hasn’t managed to make the same break with what is perceived as ‘old’ Toryism. That’s why the Conservatives don’t have a majority government today – not because of policies….

  2. Kate Stansfield

    If David Cameron really believes in himself and his party then he should go it alone,even with that tiny majority. To share power is weak. None likes weakness especially when it comes to governing a nation.
    All that can happen is that if his policies are just,fair and affordable and are overturned by a vindictive opposition,well,the people will see and judge for themselves.
    If too many of his policies and efforts which are logically right for the nation are scuppered then let us have the next election with rather more cards seen to be on the table.

    • Parthiban Yahambaram

      david cameron does not have a majority – not even a tiny one –

      the 306 seats held by the conservatives are a minority – to attempt a minority government at this point would be disastrous because there is in fact a global financial crisis – no legislation could be passed without the cooperation of the Lib Dems and at the end of a few months the tories would be blamed for all the difficult economic decisions that they would be forced to make while in power –

  3. EnglishCad

    The only good thing that may come from this is that Mr Cable might get a seat in the cabinet. The only politician with any form of common sense and back bone. Why he is hooked up with the party of dreamers is anyone guess? Cameron seems a descent sort, even if he hasn’t a clue as to what people are really concerned with, trust me it’s not c02 emissions. He is too concerned with image. Almost a mini Blair at times. Who ever takes charge they will need a strong resolve and a large amount of luck.

  4. Bill Grime

    Have an elected House of Lords by propotional representation. This would enable anyone anywhere in the country to vote for any party, Scot Nats, Plaid, English Democrats or any other. Elections could be fixed term and every 50000 votes would elect a member.
    The commons would continue to elect constituency members; the Lords has never had constituency members so this would not cause a problem. I hope Nick Clegg would find this acceptable.

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