Friday, May 8, 2015

damp squib

The results of the British general election are something of a disappointment for outside observers who like to watch the British living through interesting times. Instead of another tightly hung parliament, the Conservatives actually took a majority, which means no need for the Liberal Democrats, or anyone else, to immolate themselves further on the altar of coalition. (Five years harnessed with the Conservatives has now lost the Lib Dems 85% of their seats; another five years like that and they'd be left with only one seat, probably Orkney and Shetland.)

So, no delicate negotiations, no malignant (from the Tory pov) Scots looming over everything, just another straightforward John Major-style government. And that comparison is probably apt, because the Conservative majority is only 5 seats, possibly 6 if they take the last one still undeclared at the moment (St. Ives, previously a Lib Dem seat: probably waiting for the Scilly Isles boat to get in). But Major had a majority of 11 seats in 1992 and still lost his majority entirely, through by-elections and other attrition, over the course of that parliament. Now that the Conservatives have no-one to blame but themselves, will this be high tide for them, with erosion to follow again?

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