So we are official off and running and already it would seem that both of the main parties are trying to pretend that the last five years haven’t happened or rather their version of the last five years. Now I can understand why they are pretending that they are fighting for an overall majority but when everyone else seems to be saying that this isn’t going to happen it does look rather strange. In fact it tends to underline the impression that both parties are living in a detached world of their own making.
Back in the real world it all seems rather irrelevant. Whomever forms the next government will have to cut things and probably about the same as the other side. You have to remember that the wonderful economic miracle that we are living through is very similar to the economic plan being put forward by the last Labour government should they have been re elected last time. It doesn’t take the brains of Einstein also to realise that many more billions will be spent on the NHS, whether that is by opening up many more services to private provision (shocking I know but it does work in places) or reorganising the way things are done (yes there will be another one no matter who is running things).
In truth this election isn’t about Labour or Conservative but rather about the Lib Dems and SNP. Which of these two parties has a good election will shape the next government. At the moment the headlines are all upside for the SNP and downside for the Lib Dems. I don’t believe this for two reasons. Firstly, the Lib Dems are concentrated in specific areas where their local organisation is very strong, which includes Scotland. Secondly, I suspect that many of the new SNP supporters who have moved over from Labour are very soft SNP. I don’t think, come polling day, they will vote or won’t vote in the numbers that the polls are suggesting. This doesn’t mean that I think the Lib Dems won’t take a bath nor that the SNP won’t make gains it just that they won’t be as great as some are predicting. In fact one of the most interesting seat to watch will be Gordon in Scotland, the seat that Alex Salmond if contesting. If the SNP don’t take this then they could be in for some real humble pie, something that I think Alex Salmond won’t like eating. It will also mean that things aren’t quite as bad as the polls predict for the Lib Dems.
So five weeks and one day to do before election day…it’s going to be really hard to stay enthusiastic about things for so long.
Hit me with your rhythm stick indeed.