Wednesday, April 06, 2005


What a perfect date for a general election in Britain -- summer is in the air, I get the previous Monday off work for the May Day bank holiday, and the smug ruling party is slipping precipitously in the polls. For the first time ever, Labour is going for a third consecutive majority (think: the New York Rangers three-peat!) And in all likelihood, they will win again, despite an expected low turnout, probably lower than 2001's 59.4%.

Not long ago, the pundits were predicting a 100+-seat majority for Tony Blair's party. Now, I can see the majority cut to about 40 to 50, if everything swings the Tories' way (yes, the mountain they must climb is that high). I just don't think a lot of Labour voters are going to be so keen to head to the polls this time out, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Lib Dems siphon off several close seats (with the Respect party a close second for the protest vote). Too many people on the left remain pissed about Iraq, and Labour's hubris has likewise turned people off. As long as Michael Howard can make the alternative look less unpalatable (sacking Flight for his idiotic -- but true -- comments was the right move, but only just so), he could be in for a nice night on May 5. Can Tony get the touch back? Does the electorate really care? We'll find out on 05-05-05.


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