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Thread: UK General Election 2015

  1. #1

    Default UK General Election 2015

    Thoughts? Predictions?

    Only fifty days out now and it's an incredibly interesting time in British politics and more or less impossible to make any kind of confident prediction (other than, perhaps, that the Lib Dems will be torn to shreds).

    The Tory party is still basically - rightly - toxic, having not won a general election in twenty-three years. Looking at their record in this government and their popularity I can't see that changing. If they couldn't do it last time round in just about the best possible circumstances for them I can't see them doing it now.

    The Tories do have the advantage of a leader who polls above his party - the opposite scenario to Labour - and that will help them in the campaign if they manage to frame it as a question of "which of these two men do you want to be PM?". Having said that the political landscape is changing so rapidly it really isn't that simple anymore. I don't think those binary arguments or indeed the likes of the 'vote Salmond, get Cameron' type case Labour is trying to make in Scotland or the 'vote Farage, get Miliband' case the Tories are making in England actually has that much resonance with a lot of people. So many voters - especially younger voters - are so disengaged from the old structure that if they want to vote Green/SNP/UKIP that's just what they will do.

    So, it's basically anyone's guess how things while shake down and who will try and form a government after the vote. There doesn't seem to be enough enthusiasm behind either of the two big parties to suggest a majority and if I had to guess I would say the most likely outcome is whoever has the most seats out of Labour and the Tories trying to form a minority government, such is the public distaste for coalitions after these last five years. Though that could prove seriously problematic if it doesn't correspond with the share of the vote as is perfectly possible thanks to the eccentricities of our electoral system. I certainly think a much diminished Lid Dem presence in parliament managing to cling onto government would go down very poorly with the public and find it hard to see as a likely outcome. Likewise a UKIP or SNP presence in government for different reasons.

    As for me personally, I shall vote Labour without any great enthusiasm but because they remain the only possible vessel for anything like the kind of progress I would like to see. Their lack of courage and conviction is incredibly frustrating and I wish they could be bolder and pursue policies that were distinctive and I'm confident would actually be popular with voters if not the political and media establishment (see: public ownership of the railways), but there's still not a credible alternative for me. Miliband himself is an odd figure; that the things he is best known for - his ability to eat a sandwich, latterly how many kitchens he has apparently... - are so utterly trivial and politically irrelevant is an indictment both of the media and the man, I suppose.

  2. #2

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    It's going to be a Tory win with about 40%, I can see Labour's support collapsing in the Final hours as did happen with the SNP and the referendum. It will come down to the fact that only 53% of Labour voters think Miliband will make a good PM vs 97% of Tories think Cameron is the right man, A lot of people say 'the Tories cut this, they cut that' but the simple fact is much of what we had was paid for with borrowed money and it's just not sustainable, it's much better to focus on building a strong economy so you don't have to borrow than focusing on 'oh shit, how do we service our debt'. Normally I can look at the Lib Dems and Labour and say 'well there's a few policies they've got right, but I'm still voting blue' but this year they offer me nothing, I'm Disabled, a student, rely on the NHS heavily and get disability benefit so Labour should appeal to me. But they just don't, I'm the demographic they're trying to sell as 'needing help' and 'abandoned by cut backs' to the rest of the electorate and they are categorically wrong on just about everything that people like me need. The free tuition fees in Scotland are a shambles and disgrace, cutting fee's back to 6k leaves uni's on average 2700 worse off per student per year. Labour seem to think all the NHS's problems can be solved by throwing money at it, that's just not correct, it needs investment twinned with reform and not to forget that if the extra NHS investment is based on borrowing, what happens at the next crash? The cuts are worse and the service is lower than it is now. As for disabled people, they assume we all need more money, I have no need for the extra 110 a month I will get from switching from DLA to PIP so I haven't applied for it, I have no physical need for more money! The issues around it are it takes too long to get it and they application is harder the more complex your condition is, so instead of giving claimants more money, invest it in more staff to handle claims more efficiently.

    That's why I'm voting Conservative, they are the only party with credible plans to run beyond this next government, that's why I'm wheeling round the streets of Scotland in my wheelchair in the snow talking to voters. Because voting Conservative is the logical option and not the idealistic one, it's the one that will in 10-15 years allow us to return to the previous levels of public spending without having to borrow for it.

    People say the Conservatives are the ones who have 'disrespected the disabled', but I'm seeing more disrespect from the left telling me I need more money in my bank when I don't. People telling me what I need because it sounds good to protest without even knowing the first thing about me or others offends me more than a mere 2 year benefit freeze that I'm not even going to notice.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajsco View Post
    That's why I'm voting Conservative, they are the only party with credible plans to run beyond this next government, that's why I'm wheeling round the streets of Scotland in my wheelchair in the snow talking to voters. Because voting Conservative is the logical option and not the idealistic one, it's the one that will in 10-15 years allow us to return to the previous levels of public spending without having to borrow for it..
    Wow, a Scottish Tory! Probably couldn't disagree more on the politics but I totally respect that you will be standing for what you think is right in a pretty unsympathetic climate. I'm not disabled and wouldn't presume to speak for anyone who is, but I see a Tory party that has systematically targeted the disabled and disadvantaged with things like the Bedroom Tax, the erosion of our justice system and access to employment tribunals. Not to mention the creeping privatisation and dismantling of the NHS putting a strain on services and leading to ever-worsening waiting times. Really don't see the Tories adding 4 points to their vote from 2010 regardless. Labour have to do better than their historic low last time and there's government fatigue (no UK Primer Minister has seen his share of the vote improve at a general election since 1974 after all) and new pressures on everyone's vote from the minor parties to contend with. You just need to look at figures like the ones below to see how hard it's going to be for a party to get a majority again in this new political world. We've got so much more uncertainty, diminished party loyalty and the evolution of a multi-party democracy in a system just not designed for it. http://www2.politicalbetting.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Ipsos-Mori-Decided.jpg

  4. #4

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    Well, I'm looking forward to the election. I would love to make a prediction, but my prediction changes every day or few hours when something new hits the news! I'm far too fickle! Hubs is a major Lib Dem-er though, so in two weeks we're going to a Lib Dem Youth weekend where go to a city and campaign for their MP for the weekend. He made me a power point presentation detailing the key Lib Dem points for the election so I'd know what to say! The things we do for love, eh!

  5. #5

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    I do not that much understand the British Political Parties, since I am here in the US. Right now all kinds of politicians are coming to my State of New Hampshire to try and wow thee voters here, since my State of New Hampshire has the 1st Presidential Primary Election early in 2016. So far, most of the politicians who have been going around meeting us voters are the extremist right-wing fruitcakes. 2 weeks ago, we had my town's local elections, and like only 9% of the ~ 16,000 eligible registered voters even bothered to vote. It is like the vast majority of my town's voters do not give a damn about democracy. Yes! I did vote, because I give a damn about making sure the right people get elected into office.

  6. #6

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    This'll be my first vote ever, and I'm trying not to be daunted about the whole thing. I grew up in an atmosphere that was constantly bludgeoning the rhetoric "People died for your right to vote", and I'm not disagreeing with that in the slightest: what I am jarred about is the breach of trust that politicians seem to have made. This current government has seen a rise in the number of suicides as a result of the Department of Work & Pensions reforms, and who could forget the great big phone-hacking scandal which was directly connected to influential members of the government (ex Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt feeding information to the Murdochs in an underhand manner, for one).

    The truth is that I want to vote, and I will, but I'm not sure that many others will be interested: political apathy seems to be rising (reference the graphic Jaiden has posted)

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajsco View Post
    That's why I'm voting Conservative, they are the only party with credible plans to run beyond this next government, that's why I'm wheeling round the streets of Scotland in my wheelchair in the snow talking to voters. Because voting Conservative is the logical option and not the idealistic one, it's the one that will in 10-15 years allow us to return to the previous levels of public spending without having to borrow for it.
    You make some valid points; especially where Labour are concerned. I'm a reasonably well read and staunch liberal (though I wont be touching LD with a barge pole, i'll vote Green even if their economic policy is weak in the hope that - if nothing else - they may serve to enable reform), I'd be interested to know what your views are regarding the assertion that austerity and rampant (un-mandated) privatisation has been used by the coalition as an ideological vessel to further the interests of wealthy individuals who both lobby and donate to the Tory party. I don't need to give you the links, google is literally littered with the stories. I would also like to know where you sit regarding TTIP?

    Frankly, and with all due respect to your opinion (which, of course, you are entitled to), I think the Tory party are absolutely toxic; I find it extraordinary how thoroughly the media in this country has corrupted our understanding of present economic conditions. Since the great QE con, we've entered a fiscal twilight zone on the assumption that - somehow - pre-2008 busines-as-usual was a perfectly acceptable way of working; and because we footed the bill we are punished. Meanwhile the collective financial sectors of the world breath a sigh of relief knowing they can safely take risks and fall back on governments to pick up their sludge. So, why do people buy into "responsible Tories": because rich men (and it is almost exclusively men) pay rich men in the media to ply misleading irrelevance to the general public so other rich men in government can keep so-called 'wealth creation' firmly in the favour of - you guessed it - rich men. This isn't glib; it really is that simple. We are a nation controlled by money; those pieces of cotton/numbers in databases/existential assets that literally in-and-of-themselves ARE USELESS.

    Look around you, I see enough hands, enough minds and enough materials for everyone to have a fair share. the occidental political paradigm is doing its utmost to make the masses forget this. No, we are human, life will never be perfect; but we need reform; we need representation; we need our country back.

  8. #8

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    I think this year will be a interesting general election. Like ajsco I'm disabled and should be a labour supporter through and through but I just can't see it at the moment for them (choose the wrong brother) . I don't agree with everything that the Tories have done but I don't think they have done too bad a job. Even though the liberal democrats are likely to be slaughtered I do think they've not done a bad job, I know they screwed up with the whole tuition fees shambles but I dont think they had much of a choice in reality and I dont think the fees were upped for political reasons see the Browne review it was commissioned by the previous labour government and was adopted by the coalition I think it recommended a higher figure than the current 9,000 limit if my memory serves me correctly. I think the NHS is in difficulties but to just keep throwing more money at it may not be the right answer, I think the proposed devolution of the NHS in Greater manchester is interesting because it means NHS and social care will be more joined up

  9. #9

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    Well, it was the first debate last night - sorry! Question and answer session with Paxman, and audience questions. We're not allowed to call it a debate.

    BritainElects, the polling company, asked some questions, and it seemed that although the majority of people thought Cameron won (I think 54% - 46%) it seemed that Ed came accross as more likable and less spin-y. (Although again the percentages were hovering around halfway!)

    What did you all think? To be honest, I thought Cameron performed best, and he did a much better job of remembering the audience members names than Miliband did. I'm not a big fan of him, but I think he really did very well.

    https://twitter.com/britainelects/status/581233718871879680 - Have a wee look around, they asked quite a few questions after the debate last night!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by cp88 View Post
    I don't agree with everything that the Tories have done but I don't think they have done too bad a job. Even though the liberal democrats are likely to be slaughtered I do think they've not done a bad job,
    Do you want this nation to be entirely private? Do you want to get rid of any semblance of a welfare state? Do you want to kiss the NHS - still regarded as a leader in healthcare worldwide (ignore the media) - goodbye? Do you want to know that bad kids will never get to see a social worker, even though they deserve a chance? Do you want to ignore an individual's right to free and good-quality legal representation should they be too poor to afford it for themselves? Do you want to have a government in which a number of backbenchers are vocally opposed to homosexuality; especially given the tendencies of many individuals on this forum? Do you want more disastrous sellouts like the post office being managed by individuals with vested interests in private entities that will make a killing on cheap shares? Do you want a nation that prizes croneyism and corruption? Do you want your prisons and police forces outsourced? Do you want fracking to tear up your countryside and poison your groundwater?

    That's the Tory way!
    Sounds great doesn't it!

    the "responsible" party. the "sensible" party.

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