Nominal Liberal Democrat Charlotte Gore, who oddly seems to spend more time hating the Labour Party than actually supporting the Liberal Democrats, has a very odd post-election post.
She thinks that if the LDs were to prop up a Labour administration in exchange for the introduction of proportional representation (which is required – if you don’t think the difference between votes and seats here is grossly, rankly unfair, you’re either blindly partisan or insane), then the resulting knock in support for propping up the reviled Labour government would kill the LDs forever.
To paraphrase Blackadder, there’s only one problem with this analysis: it’s bollocks. Let’s assume that Labour are so reviled that anyone who supports them will be tainted with hate. Which is rubbish – whilst some right-wing people, some of whom pretend to be liberals, hate Labour, most people don’t) – but let’s assume it anyway.
In that context, backing Labour in exchange for a definitive deal on PR might cost the LDs half their votes next time round. But the LDs only won eight percent of the seats this time round, on 22i%-ish of the vote. Winning 11% of the votes and seats next time would be an improvement – and any prospective Gordo-taint wouldn’t last forever.
Is there anything wrong with my analysis above? Seriously?
Overall, we know about as much about what’s going on as when as we did when I woke up eight hours ago.
Things we do know: the Lib Dems got screwed, probably by the sustained 2-week barrage of media lies about them.
Troll-like ex-home secretary Charles Clarke lost his seat, which is delightful.
Pro-science campaigner and all-round good egg Evan Harris lost his seat, which is a terrible shame (bad work, Oxford people).
And although the Tories have cleaned up in the Home Counties and the Midlands, Labour have mostly held London.
The Tories are trying to subvert the constitutional convention that the sitting PM has the first right to try and form a parliament. This makes them scumbags, and the complete and utter opposite of anything that might be described as ‘conservative’.
Finally, the appalling Hazel Blears kept her seat in Salford (where they weigh the Labour vote) albeit with a 10% swing to the Lib Dems, so I don’t have to drink a bottle of Scotch and streak through Sydney. Which is probably just as well.
(more, less coherent analysis at Johnb78).
Update: excellently, we have our first Green MP, Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavillion. Revoltingly, Zac Goldsmith has won Richmond Park. If your feelings towards Zac Goldsmith include anything other than disgust and hatred, there is something wrong with you.
Not sure if these are downloadable, but listening on the radio I was really struck by the difference between Gordon Brown and David Cameron’s speeches on winning their constituencies.
Mr Brown is in the wrong job, and needs to resign tomorrow no mater what the final results, but the speech was heartfelt, interesting, passionate and genuinely moving.
Mr Cameron sounded like the kind of personality-free senior manager who gives corporate Powerpoint presentations that mean nothing, are full of waffly buzzwords, are delivered with intensely loatheable smugness, and generally make you want to die.
I don’t think I could stand living in a country where someone that personally dislikeable (which Gordon Brown, for all his faults, isn’t – you might hate his politics and/or his competence, but I genuinely can’t imagine anyone disliking the man, personally, on meeting him) was main national figurehead and spokesman. So I suspect I’ll be out here for a fair while then…
(FX: checks “permanent residency” requirements again…)
It’s lovely to see Peter Robinson, the head of Northern Ireland’s DUP (the Paisley-ite, hardline Unionist party), losing his Belfast East seat to non-sectarian Alliance candidate Naomi Long. Anything which makes NI less sectarian-driven has to be a good thing…
The thing which makes it even funnier, by which I mean “if I was properly awake I’d literally be rolling on the floor with laughter”, is that insane ultra-Unionist blogger David Vance (of A Tangled Web and Biased BBC ‘fame’) won 1856 votes, presumably from people who felt that Mr Robinson didn’t hate the Micks enough. Ms Long’s majority over Mr Robinson was only 1533.
In other words, by attracting crazy sectarian bigots with his crazy sectarian bigotry, David Vance has actually made Northern Ireland a less crazy, sectarian and bigoted place. Hahahahaha!
Tomorrow morning, someone’s going to cheese-grate away the surface of both my corneas, then remove the sub-surface tissue with a FRICKIN’ LASER.
a) wish me luck; b) I’ll be drugged up and more or less blind for a couple of days, so unlikely to be up for much Internettery. Have fun without me and play nice…