British general election (1): the most uncertain election in living memory

OK, Christmas is now over. Let the General Election campaign begin. For the first time ever, we’ve known the exact election day almost  five years in advance, thanks to the introduction of fixed term parliaments. So effectively we now have ‘a long campaign’ of four months or so until polling day on 7 May 2015.

Now I’ve been following General Elections in Britain since 1964 when I was 16 and not old enough to vote: I’ve voted in every General Election since that of 1970 when I was first old enough to vote; I’ve even been a candidate in two General Elections and my daughter-in-law is a candidate in the next one. So I’ve followed these things for 50 years – but I’ve never known a General Election when I had less idea of the outcome.

Among the most uncertain elements of this election are: the impact of UK Independence Party especially in England, the impact of the Scottish Nationalist Party  north of the border, the collapse of the Liberal Democrats, the rise of the Greens, the nature of the leaders’ debates on television, and the impact of social media.

All this leads to the following conclusion in a piece in today’s “Observer” newspaper:

“The most likely outcome of election 2015 is another hung parliament and another coalition, with neither the Tories nor Labour winning an overall majority. But with a little over four months to go – and so many influences at work – you won’t find many pundits who are willing to go further than that. Get ready for the most unpredictable election of recent times.”


XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>