Friday, May 06, 2005

Rocky 3

Can you hear the Champagne corks popping in No 10? No, I can't either. As expected, Tony Blair has been returned for a historic third time but on a much reduced majority. He returns with the lowest share of the popular vote for a winning Government ever. He would do well to remember that as Labour's policies are implemented in the future.

Should the Champagne be flowing in Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties around the country though? I am sure it is but the results are not a cause of celebration for either parties despite their gains. Labour has been unpopular for some time, Iraq, Immigration, stealth taxes, Council Tax and trust to name a few, they have been on the ropes sometime and looked fragile. All it needed was one knockout blow and the Conservatives could have romped to victory. They failed to connect so whilst Tony "Rocky" Blair has been winded, he has survived to make his third and final film "Rocky 3". Will Labour be as rocky at the next election?

The Conservatives should have made more gains given the crumbling Labour support last night, but a lot of support to the Liberal Democrats and fringe parties. I still believe that they were not bold enough in their tax cutting and other policies. As thoughts turn to the future, will they become more ambitious and learn from their many mistakes this time or will it be the same menu next time?

The Liberal Democrats have done well possibly gaining eleven seats. However, this does not set the scene for a resurgent Liberal Democrat Party or have entered a new age of three party politics. They would do well to reflect that many ex-Labour supporters will have found the temporary Liberal Democrat shelter welcoming as the Tony Blair storm passes but they could quite easily return should Gordon Brown becomes leader. They need to find a means to keep such support if they are to really challenge in the future. They have also gained in the limited number of constituencies with large student populations thanks to their opposition to tuition fees. In other constituencies with more "balanced" populations, their appeal has been tempered, particularly in South East England, by their desire to introduce a Local Income Tax that would have hurt many "hard working families".

1 comment:

Toque said...

And because they got a lower share of the popular vote in England than the Tories it is debatable that they even have a mandate.

In my opinion they have no mandate to legislate for England on policy areas that are devolved to Scotland.