Thursday 3 January 2013

Even the Tories think the Tories can’t win

Paul Goodman, executive editor of ConservativeHome and a former Tory MP, has written an article in the Telegraph explaining why the Tories cannot win the 2015 general election.

The abandonment of the proposed boundary changes is only one of four reasons Goodman cites for the impossibility of a Tory victory. The others are that the Tories are doing badly among ethnic minority voters, that UKIP is splitting the right by capturing the older male Poujadist vote and, conversely, that the Labour Party is little troubled by splinter movements on the left.

Meanwhile, Political Betting has just published an analysis showing that Labour can win an overall majority with less than 35% of the vote. Again, the lack of boundary changes is only part of the story; Labour benefits from its vote being concentrated in seats with a low turnout.

Then there is the pattern seen in general elections across Europe since the financial crisis began. Governing parties that implement austerity policies are habitually thrown out of office irrespective of whether they are right, left or centre.

A lot can happen in the next two years and it would be foolish to predict the outcome of the 2015 election. Whether the Liberal Democrats should maintain a coalition with the Conservatives after that election is a question that divides Liberal Democrats (to put it mildly). However, it is looking increasingly like an academic question.

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