OPINION: No Hope For A Tory Government in May


Liam Bateman writes.

Although the polls show neither party have a clear majority in the polls twelve days out from May 7, I can confidently say that there is no hope for a Tory government lasting a full term from the election, even if they remain the biggest party in a hung parliament. It is clear that there will be coalitions or agreements reached on both sides from the results, with the rise of many minor parties, suggesting it may be time to switch to MMP rather than FPTP. But I have a good feeling David Cameron will be out of the leadership in a matter of weeks if not days after May 7.

If you were following events and polling from around 2011-2013, you’d agree with me there was no hope for David Cameron. Almost all the polls were suggesting there’d be a repeat of the 1997 election, with many disillusioned Tory and Lib Dem voters siding with Ed Miliband. However, with a surge in support for other parties including the Greens, UKIP and the SNP, Labour’s popularity has shrunk and we face the close race we see today.

While going through the Guardian, I saw a very useful map of constituencies as well as the expected results based on polling. It also provided significant gains in all the regions of the UK and where most of their new seats would come from or who their old seats were going too. I have gone through them and have made my own expectations on how many seats each party would have. I included some different results from the map

Labour: 272 (a net gain of 14 seats)
Conservatives: 270 (A net loss of 33 seats)
Scottish Nationalists: 55 (A gain of 49 seats)
Liberal Democrats: 26 (A net loss of 31 seats)
Green Party: 1 (No change)
UKIP: 4 (a net gain of 2)
Others (including Plaid Cymru, Respect, DUP): 21

In order for a majority, Labour would need a partner who can get them over the 326 mark for a majority. The Scottish Nationalists have already voiced their agreement to help Labour and keep them honest which would bring them just one seat over the majority line. Confidence and supply agreements with the Ireland based SDLP could add five more seats to that majority.

The Conservatives on the other hand, to put it bluntly, are screwed. In 2010, the party had 306 seats, 20 short of a majority. With 33 seats expected to go to various parties, they are in a tougher position. Their former coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, are expected to lose a lot of seats to the two big parties as well as the SNP. With Nick Clegg gone after losing to Labour, they are expected to have merely 26 seats left. Even with UKIP’s 4 and the possibility of the Irish Democratic Unionist Party with 8 would not be enough to keep power.

However under the FPTP system, David Cameron can ask to form a minority government if he has even one seat more than Labour on May 7. But this will not be stable. The opposition will be able to outvote him on his key legislation and pass a no confidence vote. This would force another election and the outcome of this will most likely bring in a Labour government.

Even if the Tories keep a majority in a hung parliament, David Cameron will be gone by lunchtime if there is a vote of no confidence. He may as well give Ed Miliband the keys to Number 10 now.

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