I’m going to throw out an idea mainly for Labour supporters to discuss, though I know it won’t only be Labour commenter’s :-)
Considering Labour’s been in power 13 years, we’ve had two disastrous and very expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, ~10 years of economic success followed by 3 years of economic strife (not Labours fault per se, but they didn’t plan for bad times and you know how unforgiving the British electorate are!), political scandal after scandal bringing what the British people think of politicians to an all time low and still Labour secured 29% of the popular vote and 39% of the 650 seats.
Considering all this strife under a three term Labour government that’s looking tired that’s quite an impressive result.
The Conservatives are clearly not trusted by the British electorate, they should have cleaned up (40% plus of the vote not 36%) and I can see it not taking a great deal to turn the British electorate even further off the Conservatives for another decade.
I believe the best person to be in number 10 Downing Street for the next few years is Gordon Brown, but Greece is in the crapper, Spain and Italy though not as bad as Greece are in trouble, we may live on an island, but economically we are not an island and we all know we are in for massive public sector spending cuts (sorry, I meant efficiency savings :-)) to bring government debt under control no matter who is Prime Minister this time next week.
An Age of Austerity under the Conservatives
As Labour supporters do you really want an age of austerity on Labour’s CV for when we come to the next general election? Anyone seriously believe we’ll last 4+ years before another general election is called, election 2011/2012 I hear you say!
If Labour retain power they will be blamed for whatever economic measures that are required for the next couple of years and beyond, just like the Tories are rightly blamed for the economic disasters of the 80s and 90s.
Although it’s not good for the country to have a Tory government (they are selfish ba#####ds and the less well off will pay through the nose) and based on their recent calls on economic matters they certainly aren’t the party for the British economy in troubled times (mass unemployment is on the horizon!), I can not see them winning the next general election after an age of austerity!
Lets have a weak minority Conservative government for a couple of years, have another general election (I see it in 2012) and put Labour back at the helm with a small, but working majority. I’d like to say the Tories can’t cause too much damage in two years, but… we planned to buy a second house, we are so concerned that there’s no way right now we’ll buy a second home with the Conservatives most likely in charge, we aren’t willing to take the risk on loosing so much money if they mess up the economy again!
Labour, Liberal Democrat, SDLP and SNP Coalition Government
I was hoping for a relatively strong Labour/Lib Dem coalition government (350 seats between them), but that’s not what’s happened: I’m so surprised at the British electorate bottling out on voting Lib Dems at the last minute!
The only alternative to a Conservative led government is a very weak Labour/Lib Dem/SDLP/SNP and maybe others parties coalition government that’s highly unlikely to last very long!
Basically Labour/Lib Dem/SDLP/SNP really all need to work together to scrape by a majority of 1 IF you ignore the 5 Sein Fein MPs who never vote in the London Parliament (I think we can safely assume they won’t take their seats in the London parliament), so to form a majority government a Labour led coalition government would need 323 MPs (not 326 a real majority), a Labour/Lib Dem/SDLP/SNP coalition would have 324 MPs, not exactly a strong coalition and I expect it would cost Labour offering the Lib Dems Proportional Representation : The Single Transferable Vote System (which neither Labour or the Conservatives want)!
I prefer a weak Conservative minority government and see how long it takes for a vote of no confidence, I give them 18 months and then Labour will be back in power assuming during that time the Labour party don’t implode with infighting: Gordon Brown will have to go, it’s a shame as I really like Gordon Brown.
As observers of politics, we have interesting times ahead.