May 8th, 2015

sheldon, wikipedia

...And all of a sudden nobody can think of anything to say

Why do things look dramatically different than the polls indicated?

Did Labour voters stay at home, rather than risk putting the SNP into power?

Did Labour voters stay at home, because they couldn't see a positive case for supporting Labour?

Did Conservative voters, roused by emails from the Telegraph, terrified by the Jockalypse, head to the polls in greater numbers than expected?

Most people forget that a lot of the swing between elections isn't down to people switching sides. It's people losing faith and not voting at all. Or people roused by belief (or fear) and heading out to prevent something.

To me, this looks like a victory for Project Fear. But we'll no doubt hear plenty of theories over the next few weeks, pointing blame in every direction.

(And once the final figures are out the Electoral Reform Society will undoubtedly show how this result makes it even more obvious than usual how broken FPTP is. As I write this, Labour's vote share is up by 1.4% over their 2005 result, but they are down by 25 seats.)

Things we're going to see in the next five years
English Votes for English Laws
European Referendum
How, exactly, the Conservatives are going to save £12Billion from the welfare budget
What the difference is between a Conservative majority and a Conservative/Lib-Dem coalition

Glimmers of light
It did cheer me up waking up to 56 SNP seats, with one left over for each of the Labour, Conservative, and Lib Dems.
Galavant got a second season! (And Agent Carter did too, which should make some people happy. I should get around to it at some point.)
Some part of me looks at how fucked things are going to get, and thinks "Well, they'll _have_ to fix this after the next election, won't they?" Surely Labour will realise that they can't promise "Conservative Light" and get swept to power on it? Surely they'll have to fix the sodding voting system? I shall look forward to feeling grossly disappointed in 2020!

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A few more thoughts on the election

1) PR wouldn't fix this:
Con+UKIP = 49.4%
Lab+LD+SNP+Green = 46.9%
(I'm still in favour though. Obviously.)

2) Farage lost. That'll be three party leaders resigning today.

3) I have _no idea_ whether Labour lost more votes because people were worried they'd work with the SNP or people were worried they wouldn't work with the SNP (and the government would be unstable). {Probably both, to be honest.

4) I also have no idea whether Labour would get more votes by sticking with centralism or moving back to the left. In Scotland the SNP have taken their old position, to great success - but I have no idea how that would play out in England. Popular wisdom says that England won't vote left-wing, but popular wisdom isn't proving terribly useful at the moment.

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