Friday, May 06, 2005

E-day plus 1

As it happened, the Labour party reached the point of an overall majority just as I was getting up to go to work - about 4.30 am. They are looking at a majority that is almost exactly what the exit polls predicted - the tool has become a lot more precise since it confidently predicted that the Conservatives were going to lose (1992?), only to see them returned to power for a third term.

Oddly enough, the atmosphere amongst the generally enlightened population at the time of that result (stunned gloom) doesn't seem to be a million miles from the reaction to this result. If it is any encouragement to the liberal establishment, Tony Blair seems to have found the experience of the election campaign chastening - particularly the level of animosity directed at him personally - and with a majority that couldn't withstand the scale of backbench rebellion that was seen over some issues in the last couple of years, the new government will have to act in a more conciliatory manner. The US Republicans may have been strengthened by last autumn's elections, but I don't think there's any question of Britain being taken into another war behind GWB.

As far as the parties are concerned; whilst I have a lot of time for the conscience of the Liberal party - more so than that of Labour or the Conservatives, I was and am unhappy about the more ... er, liberal ... end of their social agenda, particularly where it starts to impact areas of individual morality. Michael Howard seemed to have a fairly solid agenda - but I can't help feeling that the underlying divisions over the nature of the economy and Europe have been papered over. It's all very well when you are lining up behind one strong leader - but behind a weak leader, it would be a different matter - the divisions that undermined Ian Duncan-Smith and William Hague haven't been dealt with, and I think they will only ultimately be dealt with if either a euro-sceptic or pro-europe faction breaks away. As for the Labour party, I am frustrated with the huge bureaucratic government animal that they continue to feed - which absorbs what feel like record level of tax income whilst producing nothing much other than bureaucracy-poo.

(Remember, you read that word here first!)

So who did I vote for? Well, it was one of the above - but it was a hard choice!

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