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The British political world is more uncertain than for many years- the end of Blairism raises many questions, but what remains surprising is the the fact that so few are convinced that the Conservatives are the inevitable answer to a decade of Labourism.

Will David Cameron be able to make enough progress to get into number Ten?
Will Gordon Brown turn out to be triumph or disaster for Labour?
Are the Liberal Democrats poised to advance or decline?

No one really knows.

So, political pundits cast around for any event which can shed light upon the darkness. The latest local elections give some pointers, but I suspect that the results will end up being ambiguous. The Conservatives seem poised to make substantial advances- after all they are up in the opinion polls- yet these advances may not be enough to show sufficient momentum to put them into power across the country, and in Scotland they may well hit a new low in support.

Labour may do better in Scotland than many expect. The Nationalists tend to flatter to deceive anyway, but I suspect that they will not make much progress compared to the level they gained in the first Holyrood election, so while they may have more votes than the 29% they gained in 1999, it may well be that they do not make the breakthrough to overtake Labour that the polls have suggested. However, Scotland aside, there may be few crumbs of comfort

The Liberal Democrats are on shifting ground too, but despite the Conservative recovery, they too may find that they can point to some progress on May 3rd.

So despite the search for more clarity, I think that British politics may become still more uncertain. Certainly a sustained Liberal Democrat recovery begins to make the idea of an NOC Parliament a far more likely prospect.

The Liberal Democrats have been faced with repeated forecasts of decimation- I think that this will not happen- indeed as we head towards the finishing line on May 3rd, there is a lot in play, and everything to play for!

Comments

Tom Papworth said…
One interesting possibility is that Nicol Stephens might become First Minister as his price for supporting Labour - it has been rumoured in some of the papers. It would be the first time a Lib Dem held a really major office and would make a spectacular change in our fortunes.

OTOH, if he was the (figure)head of a coalition in which we were actually the smaller party, there is a danger that he could end up getting the blame for others' mistakes.

It's never been so much fun!

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