Monday 20 April 2015

Labour abandons its Scottish section, but still looks a winner.

A party needs many things to win an election, and a fair wind is certainly one of them. Often that good breeze comes about because a party looks like a winner, so things start to fall into place effortlessly. Take this chance encounter between Ed Miliband and a girly gaggle out on a hen party. It could have happened to David Cameron, but it didn't. Instead, Cameron went to talk to some workers and many of them got so bored with him that they preferred to go back to work instead of listen to the man a moment longer. Miliband met the tottie quite by chance and all of a sudden he went from geek to sex god in the public eye.

The Labour campaign went into overdrive over the weekend as it began its final sprint towards the finishing line.

The first thing that Labour did was toss its Scottish branch to the wolves. Angela Eagle, the shadow leader of the Commons made that very plain when she said: “We’ll speak to any party that has got representation in the House of Commons in order to try and build a majority for a Queen’s Speech that the country desperately needs for a change of government.” 

With that comment you can forget the plaintive wail that still emanates from Scottish Labour that the biggest party forms the government because the national party has now kicked that idea into touch. Labour will try to work with anyone who will join them in getting the Tories out.

Secondly, Miliband appealed directly to those Tory voters who are not complete scum suckers, as well as to the remaining leftist UKIP and Lib-Dem contingent, by telling them that  if they are worried about tax evasion, avaricious energy companies and fat cat bankers, then he is the man who will champion those causes. The toy town left will scream at that, but if it solidifies Labour's right flank then it is to be welcomed.

Labour seems to have done the electoral maths and accepted that the Tories on 280 seats are still going to be unable to form a government, but Labour with as few as 260 certainly could. 

The SNP now seem to be certain to take almost 50, and any that they fail to grab will probably remain in Labour hands. Add the Welsh, Ulster and English one-seat parties to get another ten or so. If we add the shell-shocked remnants of the Lib-Dems who may manage to save 25 MPs if they are very lucky, then Miliband has a majority of the 650 seats in the Commons.

Thinking about this for a moment, Miliband has to treat the SNP with kid gloves, but all the others can be brought on-board or dumped depending upon the mood. He could even leave the Lib-Dems to stew in their own juices, if Labour did take 265 seats or so.

Cameron by way of contrast does not have any of these options. At best he can count on the eight or so members of the DUP, with maybe the Lib-Dems, always assuming that they do not decide to take whatever deal Miliband offers them. UKIP can be discounted because whatever seats they have will come from the Tories, so their success or failure does not alter the Con-Lab balance of forces.

It's no wonder that Ed Miliband is looking so chirpy - barring a disaster, in a little over two weeks he is set to become Prime Minister.

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