At the moment, I’m barely paying attention to the campaign.
The real action is in all the data crunching, the polls and predictions (yes, I’m a bit weird like that. If Peter Snow has the 'flu on the big night, I’m ready to go)
http://www.electionforecast.co.uk/ -Also being used as the basis for fivethirtyeight’s predictions
These are all showing the result hanging on the razor’s edge of uncertainty, with small, local shifts capable of sending the result into any one of a dozen chaotic directions.
So let’s take a look at a few different scenarios. I’m not saying that the result will end up anything like this, it’s just a bit of fun:
Scenario 1- the boring baseline.
Enough Tories and Lib dems hang on in marginal seats to continue the pact of the ConDemned.
Things continue as they are with ever harsher austerity and ever thinner excuses as to why a nominally social liberal party is propping it up. Everyone is unhappy at not winning, but nobody does badly enough to be ousted or replaced. The country continues is long, slow trudge to a grey, soulless corporate feudal future. If you want a picture of the future, imagine David Cameron’s scuffed Oxford Brogues stamping on a human face- forever. While Nick mournfully explains that it’s all for the best
Or for the more fanciful approach, if you find the two parties with the closest ideological alignment, who haven’t ruled out working together and assume that they will form a government together:
Scenario 2- Mein Gott, hilf mir diese todliche libe zu uberleben
Labour and the Tories finally drop the pretence that they represent anything other than their own power and self-aggrandizement, come to the obvious conclusion that there is no actual real difference between two branches of the pro-business managerialist party, and lock the status quo in place by shutting out the other parties in a massive grand coalition. In other words, a replay of the national government of the 1930’s and its consensus on ignoring contemporary problems and lengthening the great depression.
Or for a possible suicidal backstabbing:
Scenario 3- "Anyone can Rat, but it takes a certain ingenuity to re-rat."
This time it’s Labour and the Lib Dems that form a Government. Again, nobody is happy. Labour voters and MPs dislike relying on a group of collaborators who have been bad-mouthing them for the past five years, and the Lib Dems betrey their few reaming voters who actually wanted them in alliance with the Tories. The Tories fume at being betrayed, start fighting about Europe, and everyone looks meaningfully at the eventual fate of the German FDP, for next time.
The one that I not so secretly actually want to happen:
Scenario 4- "People assume that government is a straight line from voting to power. But actually, from a hung parliament, multi-party viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly coalition-y stuff"
Nobody wins an overall majority and since all the obvious coalitions have been ruled out we end up with the Labour party as the government, pulling together support vote by vote from the combined forces of the SNP, Plaid and the Greens. This forces Labour leftward, away from the grip of the Austerian consensus, and ensures that any wild Blairite ideas , like starting wars in the middle east, or privatising bits of the NHS get stamped upon fairly quickly.
And finally, just because it would be funny to see the reaction:
Scenario 4- Schadenfreude- Pleasure out of someone else’s pain.
In an unusual twist of circumstances, the Tories gain the most votes, but because of electoral geography, Labour gain the most seats in a hung parliament. Labour manage to form a government with the support of the SNP. Together, they come up just short of 630 seats but just manage to form a government because of the abstentionism of the four or five Sinn Fein MPs. In response to this state of affairs, the Tory party and their supporters in the press absolutely lose the fucking plot, denounce the entire situation as undemocratic, but still don’t actually start supporting proportional representation. A massive blamestorm erupts, as everything from the UKippers, to Dave, to the weather, to space lizards are blamed for the inabilaty of the tory party to win an election since 1992.