The cat i' the adage

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" Karl Popper (1902 - 1994)

Friday, May 06, 2005

Post-election blues

A little bleary-eyed this morning. I got up at about 2 a.m. to see how things were going and was very encouraged. After that point things never looked quite so good, though there were a few pleasant surprises.

The electoral arithmetic so massively favours Labour that it can win an unassailable majority with 36% of the vote. This state of affairs is scandalous and brings our electoral system itself into disrepute. It is the way in which the constituency boundaries are drawn which provides this imbalance, not the disproportionality due to the first-past-the-post system.

In truth, the Conservatives have not done very well. Their 33% share of the vote is unchanged from the last election and they have only won seats as a result of the Liberal Democrats bleeding away Labour votes.

I'm sure that the Liberal Democrats have not done as well as they expected either, whatever they may say. The "decapitation" strategy took the head of Tim Collins but otherwise failed miserably. Against the Conservatives, they were net losers, and, though they managed to make a few gains from Labour with anti-war votes, they hardly look likely to make the breakthrough they are always talking about.

For Blair the result is a near disaster. His personal unpopularity has clearly weakened his party and it cannot be too long before he hands over to the night's big winner, Gordon Brown, perhaps after the referendum on the EU Constitution.

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