10 May, 2010
“The public and markets want…to see a “government in place”” — Alistair Darling
You didn’t need a visit to the Delphic Oracle in order to figure out what would happen, in any case I doubt that many want to visit Greece these days. So, on 8 May the carve-up began with Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats meeting a team of Tory advisors in order to strike a deal to try and form a ‘coalition’ government. So much for ‘first past the post’ electoral system, designed in pre-historic times to maintain the hegemony of the ruling class. And if a deal can’t be struck with the Tories the next stop will be the Labour Party, though a deal with Labour is unlikely as it would require every party, aside from the Tories that is, to vote with the Lib-Dem/Labour coalition on the substantive policy issues.
Perhaps an analysis of the vote is in order or the ‘first past the post’ system as it is called. As you can see from the stats on the vote tally, there is actually very little between them, so how come seats in Parliament doesn’t reflect the three-way split?
Conservative 306 seats 36.1%
Labour 258 seats 29.0%
Liberal Democrat 57 seats 23.0%
The turnout averaged around 65%, the highest it’s been for decades, a reflection of two things: 1, an unprecedented media onslaught exhorting the punters to vote and 2, an electorate who do want change. But in real terms the numbers above represents much less than two-thirds of the electorate so the Tories actually got about 25% of the potential vote, Labour 20% and the Lib-Dems around 16%, a clear case of a ‘plague on all your houses’ even though it was the highest turnout since the 1970s when turnout was in the 70+ percentile range.