The people have spoken, and they want the Conservatives (Tories) in the House of Commons. Scotland overwhelmingly wants the Scottish National Party (SNP) to represent their interests, and Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats are left crying in their pints and nibbling on their Twiglets.
So what happened?
Like an American who hasn’t lived in England for 20 years is able to tell you this?
I realize I don’t know everything, but from what I read and from the outside looking in, it seems several factors were involved:
1) Labour did not make their case effectively. It wasn’t enough to put their campaign promises on a huge limestone tablet like the Ten Commandments. Their manifesto was vague. The voters did not trust that they had the skills to handle the economy, especially with talk of going back to the borrow/spend model. Ed Miliband did not come across as leadership material. Even though they increased about 1.5% of the vote, they lost 26 seats.
2) To piggyback on #1, Scotland has traditionally been Labour-ruled but completely lost all of their seats to the SNP. Only one Scottish constituency did not vote SNP, and it voted Tory. The Scottish people are obviously tired of playing by the rules of the parties established in England and want to do things their own way.
3) The voters took more of their frustrations out on the Liberal Democrats. The Lib Dems started out with 57 seats and are now left with 8. After the university funding debacle, it was obvious that Nick Clegg and his crew were sitting ducks in Parliament. Everyone knew they were going to lose seats, but this was devastating.
4) The “shy Tory voters,” as the media has dubbed them. Evidently, there are branches of Tory Supporters Anonymous that I am not aware of.
“My name is Trevor, and I am a Tory voter.”
There were plenty of voters who were undecided or did not want to say that they were voting Conservative. So when it came time for the undecided to vote, it was easier to “pick the devil you know”.
5) Some of the pundits on the BBC last night discussed the Tories’ scare tactics in the campaign. Be afraid of immigration. Be afraid of a Labour/SNP coalition. I don’t know though. Aren’t scare tactics standard political strategy?
The Boffin summed it up by saying that the losing political leaders are basically left like this.
So what are your thoughts? What am I missing?