Skip to main content

Looking Back - United Kingdom General Election 7 May 2015

I recall everyone wanted to know why the UK election turned out the way it did.

Everyone wanted to know how we got here - like it’s someone else that voted in the Conservatives.

Who did it? It’s the great English public that did it.

The English public - not the great British public. In Scotland they voted for the SNP (Scottish National Party) - a party that is against the austerity plan of the Conservatives and that is committed to devolving from the UK.

Why did the English vote for the Conservatives?

I think it’s because for all the pain the Conservatives have caused to the poor and the disabled in their term of office, the economy seems to be on an upward trend. And people don't want to rock that boat.

And all that talk of getting the Conservatives out because they were cruel, arrogant bastards who only cared about lining the pockets of their chums - it turned out to be just talk.

All that talk about the Conservatives destroying the Welfare State - housing, the NHS.

It’s a class-ridden society like it’s always been – except for those pesky Scots who won’t toe the line.

All Ed Miliband’s talk of including everyone – he must have been thinking of a different society. One in a parallel universe.

It turns out that not only do people not care, they don't even wish they cared. I guess that is the attraction of anonymous voting - blame someone else for the result.

Here are the numbers for the seats, the number gained and lost, the actual number of the popular vote and the percentage of the vote that the number represents.

Conservatives 330 (+37, -10) 11,334,726 36.9%
Labour 232 (+23, -48) 9,347,324 30.4%
SNP 56 (+50, -0) 1,454,436 4.7%
Green 1 (+0, -0) 1,156,149 3.8%
Lib Dems 8 (+0, -48) 2,415,862 7.9%
UKIP 1 (+0, -1) 3,881,099 12.6%

Politics is not just about these leading parties, there was also the Democratic Unionist Party, Sinn Fein, Plaid Cymru, and an Independent - all got seats - as well as approximately 120 parties that got no seats and had votes ranging from a few tens of thousands down to fewer than twenty votes.

Because of the peculiarities of constituency boundaries, the SNP won 56 seats in the House Of Commons with 4.7% of the popular vote. The Green Party, on the other hand, won only one seat with 3.8% of the popular vote and UKIP also won just one seat with 12.6% of the popular vote.

Of course, the percentages don't entirely reflect the inequalities because it depends upon what constituencies the smaller parties choose to fight. If UKIP had fought seats in Scotland, their gains and losses would have looked very different.

So the total of the popular vote doesn't show the whole story - but plainly something was and is not working - or no longer working - with the first-past-the-post system.

The Lost Deposits

Candidates in a UK election pay a deposit and it is forfeited if they don’t get at least 5% of the vote.

If a candidate gets 5% or more then the deposit is returned to him or her.

The deposit for UK elections is currently £500 and the Liberal Democrats lost £170,000 in deposits.

According to Open Europe, it would have all turned out very differently if we had had proportional representation in the UK election.

The Week reprinted a letter from Lord Leach of Fairford, Chairman of Open Europe, to the Times.

The letter states what would have happened had the German form of PR applied in the general election.

Under that system, any party getting less than five percent of the vote is not allocated seats. The reason for that is to prevent a huge number of parties with one or two votes each swamping the actual business of government.

We would have had the Conservatives with 275 seats, labour 229, UKIP 92, Lib Dems 54 and no seats for any of the other parties. That is, the SNP would not have got any seats at all.

Popular posts from this blog

Giveaway Tools

After looking at an article on InsightScope about contest giveaways, I just read the FAQs for one of the tools, which is KingSumo Giveaway and I see that as at the time the FAQs were prepared, the tool doesn't integrate with Mailchimp. Instead you have to download a CSV and upload.Also, there is a warning that the tool may not be compatible with Facebook's terms in the future.Finally, there is a long, convoluted way you have to deal with duplicate content, which is described in the FAQs as follows: I’m concerned about duplicate pages for SEO We don’t create new pages, just add a parameter to your URLS. Google just sees the original page and URL structure. What we recommend if Google results are important is to run the tool, then once it looks like a winner I’d change the Title to the winner and the original URL. Remove the other titles. We are working on a fix to make this easier.Advanced users:Utilize the parameter tools in Google’s Webmaster Tools and set the Headline plugi…

My Blog Is Carbon Neutral

I am pleased to be able to make the statement in the title to this article and I want to explain how I have done it and how I came to hear about the scheme that enables it.

The first step along the path that brought me to this happy state is that I have joined Seeded Buzz.

The idea behind Seeded Buzz is for the members to plant seeds - which means telling other bloggers about their blog posts and inviting them to continue the conversation on their blogs with a link back to the original post on their blog.

Well I have found a blog post from one of the members that covers a subject that interests me.

Seeded Buzz points out that better the Seed conversation and the more extendable / debatable it is, the more other bloggers will Buzz about it on their blogs and link to the original post.

And as we all know, links are the engine that pumps searches - and these are the lifeblood of the internet.

The seeder profile I found was from Thomas Chasm who blogs about a lot of different categories …

Jean-François Millet and John Everett Millais

Jean-François Millet and John Everett Millais - How not to mix them up

John Everett Millais John Everett Millais (1829 – 1896)was a Pre-Raphaelite painter (one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood) who painted colourful (too colourful?) paintings - mostly of people. His most famous is probably Ophelia, lying back arms surrendering to the current.

Jean-François Millet
Jean-François Millet (1814 – 1875) was a French painter and one of the founders of the Barbizon school in rural France. Millet painted realistic rural scenes - peasant farmers, sheep, trees - in a muted pallette that were nontheless romantic.