The eve of GE2015, quite possibly a dangerous time to blog. This appears to be one of those elections where the outcome is very much more uncertain than is normal. Clearly, Labour have not done enough to capitalise on what has been a fairly unpopular Government. It looks like the electorate aren’t sure. Can Labour be trusted to not undo the ground made up by the coalition (even if it was an unnecessarily harsh 5 years) on the deficit reduction? Can the Tories be trusted to not shift even more wealth to the rich? Can the LibDems be trusted?
The rise of the smaller parties appears to be a partial failure of the major parties to grasp the issues. Cameron started well, but has not grown much whilst being PM….he was unable to control his right wing, and this has let in UKIP, and has destabilised the Tories. Miliband failed to make much of an impression for 5 years, until the election campaign started. It is not clear why that was. And overall, there is a lack of a sense of a big picture narrative from anyone except the SNP (and that narrative is not particularly welcome at the UK level).
Politics is a bit of a conundrum. Vastly complicated, and dominated by superficiality. But vastly important. Poor levels of regulation resulted in the crash, and a widening of the inequality gap. The Banks are still too big, and have been shown to be disreputable – have they been fixed? Are they still a systematic danger? Neither main Party has got to grips with this yet. As a country we seem to want better leaders, but none are yet available. The most likely outcome of the election appears to be a hung parliament. Whether that results in a Labour minority Government supported by the SNP, or a Conservative/LibDem coalition, or some other arrangement, isn’t clear. Whatever happens, I personally don’t want to see a referendum on the EU, or an attempt to close the deficit fast using only spending cuts.
I have previously indicated what I would like to see with respect to education, but I see no clear commitment for this from either main Party. On balance I would prefer to see an end to the direction that the Coalition took us, and an unraveling of some of the things they implemented, but Labour have also espoused policies that I don’t regard as welcome. Politicians are always in too much of a hurry when it comes to education.
So, in conclusion, I don’t want to see a straight one Party majority (based on their policies), but would like to see some outcome that pulled the Government towards the centre ground, and forced some careful thinking with respect to policy implementation. We will see.