Politics in the Next Five Years
A quick political post.
The following is from an email I received a few days before June’s Euro elections – sent from a friend whose views are always interesting.
I’d be curious for people’s thoughts:
Also this, which everyone on Saturday said was mad, but I increasingly
think while unlikely, isn’t impossible:
UKIP do well on Thursday. Not brilliantly, but well. They hold their
number of MEPs despite a falling number overall, beat the Lib Dems
convincingly, and at least run Labour close.
At the general election their vote share doubles again to around 4.5%,
and they save over 100 deposits (45 last time). They take some second
places in the South-East and rural parts of the South-West.
Cameron becomes Prime Minister, the Lib Dems end up with fewer seats
than at present, and Labour are broken, turning to infighting between
the Blairites and the left, and more importantly unforgiven for the
current crisis by the vast majority of voters.
The W-shaped recession kicks in, as the Conservative government cuts
spending savagely, and encourages higher interest rates to protect
savers – this fails to bring in any new tax revenue, and taxes have to
rise to cover the growing cost of the government deficit.
UKIP keep ‘getting serious’ as Farage’s personal power is strengthened
by electoral results. By mid-term, Cameron’s Conservatives are polling
around the 30% mark, and some ‘rogue polls’ show UKIP hitting 10%. The
BNP are rudderless and disillusioned as they fail to make the promised
advance, and lose their London assembly member.
Needing to curry favour in the EU to get the freedom of manoeuvre
required on economic policy, Cameron gives in to his civil servants and
signs the next Treaty, without a referendum. He says it gives the EU no
new powers, and calls it “game, set and match to Britain”, in reference
to Andy Murray’s success at Wimbledon 2012.
Disillusioned by Parliament and impoverished by the new allowances
system, Crispin Blunt leaves Parliament to take up a vacancy as
Britain’s European Commissioner, vacated by Ken Livingstone’s return to
the UK campaign trail for the London mayoralty. A by-election is pending
in Reigate. Result 2010 as follows:
Lib Dem: 15%
The Conservatives select a Cameron A-list clone, committed to forcing
the treaty through Parliament. UKIP select the telegenic grandson of
former local MP and whipless Maastricht rebel George Gardiner. The
by-election is fought as a referendum on the tax-raising,
service-cutting budget, and a proxy referendum on the treaty.
UKIP win their first elected member of Parliament, beating the
Conservatives narrowly by 36% to 35%, and making a small fortune for
punters on Politicalbetting who were appraised of the possibility in a
post shortly before the markets went up. Their poll ratings are
transformed, and they are now regularly trading third place with the Lib
Dems, depending on the pollster. A string of other by-elections across
the south of England in the next 18 months see them beat, or come close
to beating, the Tories, on the march in the way the Lib Dems were in
1993-7. In the 2014 Euro elections they top the poll, albeit with only
27% of the vote.
The 2015 General election is a messy campaign, with Cameron making all
sorts of promises on renegotiating European treaties in an attempt to
regain his core voters, but alienating a number of his Europhile MPs in
the process – Ken Clarke resigns from the cabinet and delivers a
devastating speech, but Cameron hangs on. General election day rolls
round, and the exit polls say:
Lib Dem: 15%
Despite a clear win for ‘parties of the right’, the distribution of UKIP
vote and the effect of relative turnout returns a Labour Party,
fractious and unprepared for government, with a majority of 30 seats.