Sunday, September 24, 2006

The next general election

Sheesh, thinking about it, the next election is a head ache. Just seen Gordon Brown and Tony Blair on the various political shows of the day. Blair is obviously frustrated that the loud ticking countdown clock is getting more and more prominant, less and less easy to talk over. Nothing he says cannot be framed outside the leadership debate, and Brown seems to be licking his lips at the prospect of pushing his own "double-devolution" agenda. Blair is right about David Cameron's positioning - you cannot build an international policy by being both separate from the US and free from Europe. I notice the media have turned away from the Liberal Democrats before the last train has left Brighton. As a member and supporter of the LibDems I feel this could be the way we run into the next election, much worse than before. There is just no connection between us and the news coverage of the day anymore. Menzies Campbell did not set any kind of agenda, and now the next election is a "squeeze" between the main two. Labour going for a fourth term, the Conservatives hoping for a slender majority, which is all the current figures show they could realistically achieve. The LibDems appear squeezed, I will go to say "sunk", frankly.

It seems, so far from the date, already as though the next election will be much more "vital" than the last two. So many more parties, so many more posibilities. The new boundaries are just one of the "external" elements far beyond manifesto pledges. The date is likely to fall on the same day as the 2009 European Parliamentary elections - can this context be part of the predictions too?

For the first time in a generation, the UK is looking at a very real possibility of a hung parliament, and as this is something which has never been realistically the case in my lifetime, I cannot guess of any of the gameplay which could occur if that happens.