01 January 2010

2010 & All That

For the first time since 1997, we enter a new year certain that we will have a general election. The last time we entered a new year with 100% certainty that we would have a chance of getting a better government, you have to go back to 1979. Destroying Labour at the ballot box is what I call once in a generation opportunity. Here's a few NYE's texts I received.

2010 - our year of deliverance. To victory, comrades.

I think next year will be a good year.. Can't think why.

Here's for a return to a genuine free market. Hayek and Friedman we need you.

It will be a Happy New Year if we get a change of government.

I am thinking of making a few resolutions. These will be mainly based around effective time management - e.g. less online chess.

In terms of predictions, my wife is expecting a baby in May so I hope that comes to pass. If kicking is a good sign, it's doing well.

At the national level, I am expecting the Conservative Party to become the biggest party and Labour to slip to well under 200 seats. I don't think that the timing of the GE is especially important, but as a rule of thumb the later Labour go, the grislier it will be for them. Expect the following discernable electoral trends to be discussed at length after the election.

1. I expect that the polling lead over Labour will exceed 1987, but the Tories will either win a tiny majority winning around 330 seats or if they fall just short they will coalesce with one or some of PC/SNP/Irish unionist parties. This will prompt much analysis and expedite the boundary review which will lead to 10% cut in the number of MPs.

2. Disappearance of Labour in 'the South' outside of London. Labour currently hold close to 50 seats in the Eastern, South-West and South-East sections of the country. See this map. I expect them to keep one of the Bristol seats, Slough and Luton North, but if they can't magic up at least 30 more wins in these areas, they won't be able to keep their majority. They won't. Cue discussions about whether Labour is truly a national party.

3. The Lib Dems will do better than expected. Outside the south-west they will make small gains sometimes on large swings against Labour. Their best results will come in the north-east. They will get just short of 100 seats.

4. Largest anti-Labour swings in the West and East Midlands. Watch for places like Cannock Chase, Warwickshire North and Birmingham Erdington. Up north, the biggest surprise will come in Yorkshire where Ed Balls will lose in Morley & Outwood.

5. The growth of 'the others' will manifest itself in a number of ways. Labour and Conservative combined will fall below 65% of the total vote. Secondly, for the first time ever, a number of English seats will be won with less than a third of the vote (Brighton Pavilion, Birmingham Hall Green, Derby North and Norwich South spring to mind). NB - It would be interesting to have a betting market on the seat with the lowest winning vote share. UKIP will take second place in a number of 'safe' Conservative seats.

Gordon Brown's departure will be an amusing sideshow. Initially, he will indicate his plan to stay on for some time to oversee an 'orderly hand-over', but this position will become untenable and he will have to resign within days of his General Election defeat.


John M Ward said...

The election isn't absolutely certain.

It is known (and there were enough clues anyway) taht Labour have been working towards engineering a "state of emergency" — for which they have introduced carefully-devised legislation — so that they could suspend both Parliament and elections indefinitely.

Although circumstances have since made that situation less easy to manufacture, it's still something they hope to do. Again, the clues are there (and better-informed bloggers such as Fausty, Old Holborn and others have written eloquently on this in the past).

Andrew Norris said...

I disagree, John. To try and suspend elections indefinitely would be construed as illegal (i.e. what emergency can they possibly tackle now that they should have tackled already?) and might possibly lead to a constitutional crisis and even civil unrest if they try to fabricate a state of emergency simply to hold onto power.

Besides that note, I think the Conservatives will have to push as hard as they can for this election, especially as our poll lead isn't doing too well at present, not to mention Labour's attempts to butter up the Liberal Democrats. We will all have to pitch in, and if we try and campaign as fair and honest, instead of adopting the spin tactics of the Lib-Lab Pact, then hopefully we should be able to attain the necessary swing we need to get into power.

PoliticalHack said...

@John - Labour aren't trying to engineer a state of emergency, so you can put your paranoid fantasies to rest.

In other business - congratulations to you and your good wife, Dom. All the very best for May.