This summer (bets are on May 6th) will host a General Election. The country goes through this every five years or so. However this election is looking to be less straightforward than the last two. In the last two elections Labour walked to victory, their opponents were disunited and unpopular; Labour seemed evergreen. This has changed. New Labour is failing and the Conservatives are united. So what will the General Election bring?
The first thing to look forward to will be the three televised debates between the three major parties. It’s never been done before in Britain. A good performance could make the election for one of the parties; a bad performance could lose it. It’s well known that during Prime Minister’s Questions Cameron usually has the upper hand. But an open debate is different in nature and Cameron could be caught out. The true benefactor of the televised debates will be Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats. Whilst Cameron and Brown are at each other’s throats with rhetoric, he could play the role of the man apart, almost above politics. That is not to suggest that Clegg could win the election in three hours, but it could make his party more important.
The election will be fought over a surprising issue, cuts. All the parties will advertise spending cuts as if they’re the answer to our happiness. I’d prefer jobs, but they’re not as easy to provide. Another hot point will be immigration. I believe that the moderates in the population don’t care too much about immigration; it is more to limit the appeal of the extreme parties that can take votes from both Labour and the Conservatives.
So, what will the outcome of the next election be? It shames me to predict a narrow Tory victory. However, that is who I’m betting on. Some sources predict a hung parliament, which would be great. A hung parliament would put the Lib Dems into an influential position. If it were to happen I would be rooting for a Labour-Lib Dem alliance with Vince Cable as chancellor. We can dream. Yet, if you’re willing to bet on a dark horse, go for a narrow Labour victory. Everyone, it seems, has written them off. This could be perilous.
Some other general notes for the election. There will be a large influx of new MPs. The expenses scandal has forced a lot of MPs out of the door. We can look forward to a newer, younger, less male dominated parliament. And, if my prediction is correct, a newsreader as PM with Gideon (that is his real name) as his second in command. Do not see this election as a repeat of 1997. Most people are unenthusiastic about change and cannot see a difference between the two parties. In 1997 Labour membership was up, there was enthusiasm, yet at the moment Conservative membership is declining and the outlook is pessimistic. This election will be an election of apathy. The only people celebrating will be the political parties. The rest of us will be at home, too poor to go out for a drink, with the lights turned off, unable to afford the electricity bill.