Will the Tories play their English card?

Will the Tories play their English card?

    Howard ends up as winner on votes in England

For more than a year we’ve been suggesting that a consolation prize for Michael Howard at the 2005 General Election might be that his party “wins” England.

In terms of English seats this was always going to be challenging but in terms of votes there is a different picture. Although the all-UK vote split was LAB 35.2: CON 32.3: LD 22 the Tories have exceeded the Labour’s English vote total by about 60,000 although they are more than 90 seats behind.

Are we now going to see the Tories pursue issues like the fact that there is much higher than average per capitia public spending in Scotland than south of the border? Can we expect further questioning of why MPs from Scotland are allowed to vote on England-only matters but not the other way round.

    If Scottish MPs had to withdraw from voting on English-only issues at Westminster then Labour could find it hard sustaining a majority if there was united opposition.

With just one Scottish Tory MP this is not a problem for Howard and you can see him continuing with the symbolic withdrawal of their sole Scottish member from contentious English votes.

All makes for an interesting period ahead.

OUR COMPETITIONS I am hoping to post tomorrow about our two General Election competitions -the one we did at Christmas and the one we did at the start of the week.

Mike Smithson

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