The JackW “Against the Grain” slot

The JackW “Against the Grain” slot

O Ye Of Little Faith

It’s said in life only two certainties exist – the grim reapers of the Inland Revenue and the ultimate Grim Reaper. In the past year of Britains political life there would also appear to have been two certainties – A majority Conservative government and the Liberal Democrats gaining Watford, the latter still available at excellent odds !!

Subsequent to the general election most political analysts have taken for granted Mrs Cameron boiling the eggs in 10 Downing Street for her husbands breakfast and Sarah Brown ladling the porridge for Gordon in Scottish exile. However what if David Cameron wasn’t dipping his bread soldiers in the government eggs and Gordon Brown was still adding a wee bit of salt to the thick morning repast within footsteps of Mrs Thatchers new portrait. Is a Labour win still a valid option ?

Certainly within the past few weeks we have seen a fresh momentum in the nations electoral life being blown into the contest as two polls have indicated better scores for Labour and the prospect of a hung parliament being given wide credit. However a Labour majority win is another substantial notch on the credulity scale.

In broad terms, and accepting that the Lib Dems and Others would poll between them 30-32%, it would mean Labour and the Conservatives sharing 68-70% of the poll and Labour emerging with a bare win in the 10-20 seat majority. Certainly FPTP works to Labours advantage and it’s just about possible for Labour to gain that narrow majority with less than a plurality of the votes over the Tories.

However noting possible statistical scenarios and envisaging how they might occur are different matters. Certainly our regular friend “Events” might play an important part in any turn about – a political, personal, social or military occurence of the most substantial importance that becomes a complete or partial game changer. Alternatively it might be a continual drip of lesser events that conspires month on month to narrow the electoral gap – roughly 1% per month to a May/June election would trigger such a Labour win.

It’s certainly the case that Labour seem slightly more confident that a disaster might be avoided and with “A Campbell of Burnley” again whispering sweet political somethings in a Labour Prime Ministers ear we are in for more interesting times. Those times might be aided by mistakes from the Conservatives and a less sure footed David Cameron. It’s been instructive to note the collective loss of certainty amongst some Conservative posters here on PB after “those two polls”. Others were made of sterner stuff !!

Are we in for a white water ride to the election and subsequent election humdinger that to us now looks most unlikely ? Recent electoral history indicates not – The Labour landslide of the 1945 election had the most unusual circumstances attached to it but Churchill and King George VI expected a small Conservative win. The 1970 and 1992 elections brought unexpected Conservative wins but outside of these three elections the final results have not been outside of a range that might be considered outlandish. And certainly now the bookmakers consider a majority Labour win in such vein.

There is one other parochial PB note. A narrow Labour win might also see the return to the Commons of a certain Broxtowe gentleman, only of course after several recounts and the help of those “Conservatives For Nick Palmer”. O Ye Of Little Faith !!

  • Mike Smithson is away on a short holiday. He’ll be back on Friday.
  • Jack W is one of the two PB Titans and also said to be 107.

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