The general election and politics by numbers? The UKIP and SNP myths debunked!

It’s a numbers game.  The next government is likely to be a coalition according to all and sundry from Joe Bloggs to the pollsters to the bookies.

The Northern Ireland votes are unlikely to change so that means Sinn Fein will get 5 seats and will not take part in the House of Commons thus leaving the overall majority needed to be 323 seats.

Here is a pretty good average number of seats predicted by the pollsters (and the bookies) at 20 April 2015.

  • CON 278
  • LAB  278
  • SNP    46
  • LIB     25
  • DUP     8
  • SF        5
  • PC        3
  • SDLP   3
  • UKIP   3
  • GRN    1


On average both the Tories and Labour are projected to get 278 seats leaving 45 seats needed to reach 323 or a majority.

The SNP are projected to get 47 seats and so that means either Labour or the Conservatives could form a majority in ‘cahoots’ with the SNP.  Yet both Labour and the Conservatives have ruled out a coalition with the SNP and for obvious reasons as the SNP would hold BOTH to ransom and any coalition with SNP would mean a new general election later this year.

In short any coalition with the SNP is a toxic one as whoever was in coalition with them would likely lose a new 2015 general election because they went into coalition with the SNP.

Yet the polls have seen on the same day a Conservative lead of 3 points and a Labour lead of 3 points so the polls are highly volatile and just a 1% swing either way could see either Labour or Conservatives with 300 seats – This is highly likely and if it did come to pass would leave either of the two main parties needing 23 for an overall working majority or coalition government.

That brings the Lib Dems as an option for BOTH main parties.  Yet what is truly bizarre about the general election media coverage to date is that it has all been about (a) SNP being in coalition with Labour but not with the Conservatives despite the SNP being toxic to the two main parties; and (b) no discussion of a Labour / Lib Dem coalition with the naive assumption that the Lib Dems would only get into bed with the Tories.

Both these to-date media-hyped positions of LAB/SNP only and LIB DEM / CON only positions are absurd and false and are either deliberate spin by the main parties or inept media analysis of the reality  – as well as 397 different polling organisations or at least it seems that way!

While I will gladly admit I detest UKIP and their racist and fascist undertones, the fact that they will likely get 3  (THREE ONLY) seats rules them out of any coalition too and my abhorrence of their policies aside they too would also be toxic for any main party in a coalition.

UKIP are a political irrelevance in terms of being anywhere near a coalition despite the hype and media adoration of Farage with just THREE seats being the prediction and an increase on the ONE seat of last weeks BBC Newsnight Poll.

It really is time, especially with the growing realisation that tactical voting will play a part in the (May) 2015 general election that the electorate get savvy and looked at the numbers and ignored the hype around potential coalitions and the huge hype over the totally irrelevant Farage and UKIP.

When Clegg last week said he will bring the heart to a Tory coalition and the head to a Labour one he was clearly covering his party’s options and despite the real prospect of him not winning his own seat (as is the case with Farage’s attempt in South Thanet).  So can we all please stop this silly season of the SNP and UKIP and look at what is really going on?

I doubt it but hey ho!

9 thoughts on “The general election and politics by numbers? The UKIP and SNP myths debunked!

  1. No way shall the SNP participate with a Conservative Government in a Westminster Parliament. The SNP have today issued their Manifesto & again offered a way forward with the Labour Party for the regeneration & possibility for the chance of a renewal in a real peoples democracy in the UK.
    Personally, I would prefer & desire the abolition of Westminster Parliament & it’s monarchical control freaks the House of Lords. This I realise are my own hopes & dreams , as such I am prepared to welcome any way forward for the development of a real democracy of & for the people.

  2. hi if the labour and snp work on a day to day vote,then they should abolish the house of lords or as i call them the has beens,how much would that save the country,then there is the bedroom tax,labour and the snp would abolish this,so it would be a good idea to abolish the tory and libdems from politics and make them join the raving looney party.

    1. They both joined Lord Dutch many years ago. Irony now is if Scots had independence then winning post would be <300 giving outright majority a chance for rest of UK to elect one party

  3. The only completely credible remarks about a coalition are those made by Nicola Sturgeon when she ruled out the SNP forming a coalition with the Conservatives.
    That is completely credible, because it would be a political disaster for the SNP – quite apart from the absence of any common ground on policy.
    I think that a coalition between Labour and the SNP is unlikely, partly because it has been ruled out, partly because as you say it could be unpopular with English voters, but mainly because they will not agree over Trident. The Labour Leadership has long been committed to Trident, stifling any attempt to have it debated at their 2006 Conference for fear that a motion against it would be supported by the delegates. The SNP will not support Trident.
    Labour will rely on support from the Conservatives to get its bill on Trident through. (That will not require any coalition. It is unlikely that the Conservatives would vote against Trident. The political consequences of them doing so would be completely incalculable, and probably worse for them than Labour.)
    The Lib Dems are the most likely party to form a coalition, If a coalition with the devil himself were feasible, they would probably offer to supply “soul” to the partnership. Whether the number of LIB Dem MPs will be enough for them to be a significant force is doubtful. Whoever is PM may consider it worth giving away a cabinet post or two anyway to get them on-side. They are useful people to put in charge of spectacularly difficult or unpopular areas of policy such as organising the EU referendum.
    I also think there may be more UKIP MPs than you predict. I think the UKIP percentage of the vote will vary wildly around the country, depending on who seems likely to win locally, and that they will pick up tactical votes from both Labour and Conservative supporters trying to keep the other party out at any cost.
    I think the most likely (and least bad) option is a minority Labour government working on a confidence and supply arrangement. There will be a complex balance of power which should create a government which pays a lot more attention to public opinion than governments normally do.
    I think that a potentially possible (and very worst) outcome is a Bluekip coalition. Between increased austerity, and uncertainty over Europe, the economy and trading base of this country will not stand a chance. Further benefit “reforms” may cause the complete collapse of our penal system. People will start committing crimes because prison is their best hope of eating regularly and having a roof over their head.

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