Britain is going to the polls on May 7, 2015. Current polling suggests that the main parties are neck and neck. But the vagaries of FPP and a surge of nationalism in Scotland mean that the result is becoming utterly unpredictable.
The one and only leader’s debate has taken place. The video is above. There was some controversy as Labour’s urging for a Miliband Cameron debate was turned down by the tories. They opted instead for a folksy interview and this latest multi leader debate.
I suspect Cameron preferred this because he calculated that Labour faced the greater risk of leakage than the Conservatives if the minor parties were given exposure although to be fair the situation appeared to be complex with threats of legal action possibly having an effect. After watching the debate I think Cameron’s calculations may be right.
The leaders of some of the minor parties were very impressive. Natalie Bennett of the Green Party was principled, and Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru was passionate. But to my mind Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party was the standout performer. She was tough and determined and more than held her own against her better known opponents.
Nigel Farage was as disgraceful as I thought he would be. Talking about immigrants suffering from HIV showed a complete lack of humanity and the responses from the others were totally appropriate.
Nick Clegg was missing in the debate. He may be in danger of losing his seat.
The dynamics of the election are interesting. Labour and the Conservatives will have many more seats than their polling deserves. The Greens are polling at about 6% but are predicted by the Guardian at this stage to only win one seat. The Lib Dems are polling at about 7% and are predicted to pick up 25 seats. Dare I say this but even though it is polling at about 15% the UKIP is predicted at this stage to only pick up four seats and this does not seem fair.
The really interesting result could be in Scotland where the SNP is predicted to win up to 56 seats, with many of the gains coming from Labour. William Wallace would be proud and Labour must regret the way it handled the Scottish Independence referendum. It will also have to make peace with the SNP. The predicted seats are double the number of seats that the SNP would win if representation was proportional.
The current prediction is that Labour may need the support of the SNP, Plaid Cymru and Sinn Fein to get to the magical number of 326 seats. Celts of the world would celebrate such a Government.
Miliband’s ruling out going into coalition with the SNP is farcical. The numbers clearly suggest that a progressive government will require SNP support.