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How much of a sure thing is it the the Torys are going to get in this time?

(48 Posts)
electra Fri 19-Mar-10 13:56:23

Is there still the possibility that it could go the other way?

pinkteddy Wed 14-Apr-10 19:31:49

Agree with you policywonk, can't see why on earth coalition wouldn't work. As far as I'm concerned the markets dictate too much and look where its got us!

MintHumbug Wed 14-Apr-10 19:34:14

abride - it is a proven fact on exit polls that people who vote Conservative are less likely to reveal how they voted than people who vote Labour. We had Bob Worcester (of MORI polls) come to talk to us about it at uni and how not factoring this in had scewed predictions.

policywonk Wed 14-Apr-10 19:35:00

I'd had the impression that both Labour and Tory leaderships have been desperately courting the LibDems and would grab their votes (in Parliament) with both hands given half a chance. But Clegg's playing hard to get (which is proving a rather good tactic IMO).

I'm not convinced that the public at large would be upset by a hung parliament. I think quite a lot of people think it's the least worst option, given that neither main party is terribly attractive at the moment and Vince Cable is so popular. Plus it has novelty value.

policywonk Wed 14-Apr-10 19:37:03

As for the constitutional issue, the civil service has been preparing for a hung parliament for some time and has issued all sorts of protocols about what would happen in various scenarios. I don't think Liz will be asked to pull a name out of a hat or anything like that grin

policywonk Wed 14-Apr-10 19:39:39

Here you are - yesterday's Times/Populus poll says that 32% of those surveyed want a hung parliament.

I want one anyway, it will be great fun for political geeks.

MintHumbug Wed 14-Apr-10 19:41:58

I think many of the objections to a colaton is that neither party wants one and it would not be in the party interst to cooperate in one (except in times of national emergency when they all sing from the same hymn sheet eg the World Wars).

There was an article on it a while ago and these were the reasons cited that it wouldn't work:

"Both parties are themselves coalitions already. Labour, in particular, is sustained by an oppositional not a governmental ethos.

Neither party leader could hope to deliver on a deal.

Big beasts in both parties would wreck it.

The extremes would be empowered to revolt.

The parties could not be put back together. These are all very serious practical objections".

MintHumbug Wed 14-Apr-10 19:43:04

I must admit to feeling a bit geekily excited about what would happen. That's bad isn't it - but it would be interesting to see how it played out.

Alouiseg Wed 14-Apr-10 19:45:23

The safest place to check who will win which seat are the betting websites.

They are more accurate than any poll. Money where the mouth is speaks volumes.

policywonk Wed 14-Apr-10 19:53:20

Well, to fisk those reasons in a (hopefully) discursive and chin-strokey way:

neither party wants it - well they can eff orf, can't they? This isn't about what they want, it's about what we want. And they are singularly failing to enthuse us at the moment.

Both parties are coalitions already - a) doesn't this just mean that they have some experience of compromise? and b) as others have said, it's unlikely they'd be in coalition with each other. (Of course, Lab and Tory actually have quite a lot in common in some policy areas - probably as much as, if not more than, either has in common with the LibDems.)

Leaders couldn't deliver/big beasts would wreck - do you think so? If the alternative was to drag an unwilling electorate back to the polls within a matter of months? Neither party has too many big beasts at the moment IMO. Although the idea of, say, BoJo doing a massive flounce is indeed attractive.

The extremes would be empowered to revolt - well, if this meant that the government couldn't get its leglislation through, this would admittedly be a problem. It would all depend on the size of the coalition's majority I suppose. But I'm not convinced that the Labour backbenches really know how to revolt any more, with a few honourable exceptions: they've had their collective balls in a vice for so long I don't think they know where to find them any more. Not sure this is so true of some of the backwoodsmen in the Tory party, who might well go native given half a chance.

The parties could not be put back together - I don't think that's an objection. So we end up with more parties that are, individually, less powerful - sounds like democracy to me.

zazizoma Wed 14-Apr-10 19:56:10

It seems to be that the Lib Dem manifesto is much more in line with the Tory manifesto than the Labour one.

spilttheteaagain Wed 14-Apr-10 19:57:56

Alousie can you explain about the betting sites. For eg here - it says "Overall majority 2/5" what does that mean? 40% chance of one?

The Labour majority odds are given as whole numbers and the Tory majority odds as fractions... what's the difference?

ahundredtimes Wed 14-Apr-10 20:03:53

Oh this is interesting thread.

Do people still lie about voting Tory though? I can't believe they do in the same shame-faced way as they used to?? It used to mean I'm a Big Bad Selfish Person. Surely people now think it means, I Don't Like Brown. Or even I Really Want to Run My Local Post Office grin

Also - I think it's so interesting how close they are in the polls. Six months ago it was going to be a Cameron cake-walk wasn't it?

MintHumbug Wed 14-Apr-10 20:06:13

Zaz - You're quite possibly right. Historically I think Lib Dem and Labour were seen as more aligned but maybe this is not considered the case anymore.

I think that unwilling electorate being dragged to the polls again is one of the usual outcomes of a hung parliament. I think its Canada where this happens quite a lot (they keep having the upheaval of elections to rejiggle power).

I agree it shouldn't be up to the politicians to dictate what we can and can't have. They are supposed to serve us but because they belong to parties competing against each other, it makes it false and awkward to compromise on issues with other parties and to still keep face with their traditional voters, people in the party etc. They worry about losing the ability to keep face and form a future government in the future by giving in to short term pressures in a temporary coalition.

These things aren't set in stone though and coalitions have worked before but usually only in Wartime.

MintHumbug Wed 14-Apr-10 20:07:46

"form a future government in the future" I mean "form a future government in their own right" which is currently the aim of every party that exists.

MintHumbug Wed 14-Apr-10 20:08:35

(every "main" party that is - some small parties are happy just to wield influence but not form the government - lol you know what I mean)

claig Wed 14-Apr-10 20:47:34

overall majority 2/5 means that if you give them £5 they will give you £2 if any party wins with an overall majority. So you are risking £5 to earn £2. So they think this is quite likely to happen. If it happens you will get your original £5 back plus an extra £2.
odds of 2/5 is the same as a probability of 5/(2+5) = 5/7 = 0.71 = 71% chance of happening

at the moment they are quoting a Tory majority as being about 4/7 i.e. your £7 earns £4 of theirs i.e. probability is
7/(4+7) = 7/11 = 0.64 = 64%

Labour majority is about 10/1 i.e. your £1 will earn £10 i.e. proability is 1/(1+10)= 0.09 = 9%

So it looks like there is no way that Labour will win

claig Wed 14-Apr-10 21:25:15

however no overall majority is about 6/4 i.e. probability of 4/(6+4) = 4/10 = 40%

so there is still a small chance that Labour might be able to form a government with the Liberals, depending on how well the Liberals do

amothersplaceisinthewrong Wed 14-Apr-10 21:28:52

Remember 1992 when everyone was sure Labour were going to overturn John Major and then Kinnock blew it at the 11th hour with that rally in Sheffield and Major limped home the winner

LaurieFairyCake Wed 14-Apr-10 21:32:06

The liberal manifesto is much more to the left than labour centralism - but it could not be further away from the Tories if they were on the moon.

claig Wed 14-Apr-10 21:36:07

yes you're right about 1992, that was a shock result, and I think that's why you can't trust the opinion polls. But the betting companies don't go by polls, but base their odds on the amount of real money that has been invested by clients, so they are probably more accurate than the polls.

Hassled Wed 14-Apr-10 21:42:32

I agree there will be interesting times ahead with a hung parliament and subsequent coalitions - and agree that there is no reason why, in theory, it couldn't work. But it will take quite a change of mindset for the public as much as the politicians. I can't see any way that the Conservatives can get an overall majority - they just have too far to go.

Hassled Wed 14-Apr-10 21:45:32

The BBC's Election Seat Calculator is fun.

spilttheteaagain Wed 14-Apr-10 22:26:35

thanks claig!

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