Who will win the Election in May?
Introduction: Hung Parliament
We are now less than 5 months away from the general election and Ed Miliband is looking more likely to gain more seats without a majority, but not entirely down to his own making. Some commentators are already hinting towards the inevitability of consecutive hung parliaments.
The Big Issue
Ed Miliband has set the agenda of the cost-of-living crisis but has since flat lined when it comes to dealing with the economy, where the public trust the duo of Cameron and Osbourne a lot more than the two Ed’s.
Obama changed how elections are run in the US. Both parties have called upon the services of Obama’s right-hand men, David Axelrod for Labour and Jim Messina for the Tories, but social media is still yearning when it comes to politics in Britain.
Our next Leader
When it comes to a direct leadership contest, David Cameron is the clear winner – more prime ministerial material if you like. Labour Leader Ed Miliband is even less popular than Nick Clegg, who’s still hurting since the tuition fees fiasco.
As they criss-cross the country, Cameron and Miliband are both spurred on by a fear of failure. Cameron could be remembered as the man who couldn’t beat Gordon Brown and lost to Ed Miliband and on the other hand, Miliband’s political career could be over in his 40s.
A lot hinges on whether voters ask themselves: “Which party should I vote for?” or “Which person do I want to see walk in to No. 10 Downing Street?”
The UKIP problem
David Cameron’s eurosceptics have suggested that he declare he’ll be prepared to lead the ‘out’ campaign in the event of a referendum or he comes clean about what he is and is not trying to renegotiate. Both seem to play directly into the hands of UKIP. The fact that the negotiations have to be completed by 2017 when both the Germans and the French have national elections and will be too preoccupied to hand out concessions to the British, seems to them to suggest it won’t be a serious attempt to change our terms of membership of the EU.
Furthermore, Mr Farage very deliberately held his own party conference last year at Doncaster racecourse, just down the road from Ed Miliband’s own constituency. With the anti-EU targeting the white working class, there are 59 seats where a surge in UKIP support has the potential to seriously impair Labour’s prospects, including 39 Conservative-Labour marginals.
It’s still all to play for
The rise of the UKIP and SNP vote is a symptom of a general disaffection with the Westminster bubble. The Green Party is also taking advantage of the new balance of power, as evidence by overtaking Lib Dems in the polls and the Prime Minster conveniently avoiding live debates to dissect left-wing votes.
But beyond all the polls and graphs, whatever happens, the general election will be close and another hung parliament is a likely outcome. But – here’s the paradox – a coalition will be harder to achieve than ever before.
If defeat would be dire for either man, there is not much to look forward to in winning. Whoever ends up in Downing Street in May will start their reign as the weakest prime minister in living memory. They will be forced to implement the most difficult half of the austerity programme without the backing of a proper parliamentary majority at a time when traditional party structures is breaking down in the House of Commons.