I didn’t pontificate in advance, and nobody cares what I think, but, being a pessimist, I did always mentally add 3% to the Conservatives and subtract 3% from the Labour totals in all the polls, mindful of shy Tories and the like. Pollsters always give a 3% margin of error, and – notwithstanding the Blair years – I have a lifetime of electoral disappointment to draw from. So when I saw Cons on 34% and Lab on 33%, I read that as (worst case scenario) 37% against 30%. According to the Graun just now, Labour’s vote share was around 30% and the Cons 37%.
Mind the gap.
Worst case scenario? This is still Thatcher’s Britain, so it’s always going to be a worse case scenario.
What went wrong for Labour? Well, the likes of me wouldn’t vote for them. This is a party that took us to war in Iraq and invaded our privacy, attacked our civil liberties and allied themselves with Bush. A party that introduced fucking Academy schools and allowed the bankers the freedom to fuck the economy and is still trying to appease the bastards with its lackwit austerity policies.
So they were never going to be left wing enough for me (or the people of Scotland, maybe); and yet they were probably too left wing for wealthy tax-avoiding Southern Britain. (Even if people stand no chance of being liable, they always imagine increased taxes on wealth are going to affect them… somehow.)
Side rant: it’s not even as if I could have voted Labour, since Labour don’t stand against Bercow in my constituency. Green and the Ukips did, so I was – for once – able to vote for the party I wanted to vote for. The Green Party got 7400 votes in Buckingham, which isn’t bad. At least they didn’t lose their deposit.
What else? What went wrong in Scotland? Maybe it wasn’t (just) the left wing thing. Maybe it was that Labour allied themselves with the Tories during the referendum and when you line up alongside those bastards it’s hard to tell you apart. The referendum left a bitter taste, and in a first-past-the-post system, the Referendum Minority turns into a FUCKING MASSIVE VOTING BLOC. Labour were fucked by FPTP, and since they’ve always opposed electoral reform, ha fucking ha.
Milibland’s campaign was, well, bland, but the absolute worst mistake was that stupid monumental stone. How the fuck did that happen? Scripted by Armando Ianucci. It was the equivalent of Kinnock’s triumphalist stadium gig, back in ’92. Fucking idiot. And, yes, weird. Like a floor cleaning robot programmed to talk about politics. These things matter.
As for the Lib Dems, they signed their death warrant when they lined up alongside the Tories in the coalition. In 2010, a lot of people specifically voted Lib Dem in an attempt to keep the Cons out, and they knew it and still went ahead and joined the Tories in government. The result in 2015 is eight MPs, seven of whom will probably stand for the leadership. Nobody will care.
The UKiPs were also fucked by FPTP, as were the Greens. I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, our unfair electoral system protects us from nasty racists. On the other hand, our electoral system is unfair. The UK is four countries, with a different election result in each one. United! Kingdom! Labour did all right in Wales and bits of London – but I don’t want to live in either of those places.
The next thing to dread is the EU referendum. I’m looking into becoming a French citizen.