General Election Prediction
Ok, so this is a very dangerous game to play, but I going to make some GE2015 predictions. This is what I think will happen based on all the polls etc, not necessarily what I want. Also please do ‘Show Up’ and vote. This could be the tightest election in years – every vote counts.
Liberal Democrats 25
Sinn Fein 5
Sylvia Hermon 1
Given that Sinn Fein will not take their seats an operational majority is 323.
The Lib Dems have said that they will work first with the biggest party – the Conservatives based on my predictions. However, even if you combine the Conservatives, LDs and DUP and UKIP you only reach 321. No one else would join such a coalition leaving the Conservatives just short.
Labour would then work to form confidence and supply government. The SNP have made clear they will work with Labour though not in a coalition. Plaid, the Greens, Respect and Sylvia Hermon could all be expected to work with Labour. The DUP have not committed to either party, but they won’t work with the SNP. I think they are unlikely to support Labour unless they are the kingmaker.
So Labour and the SNP would have 315 MPs. Adding in Plaid and the SDLP would get them to 321 – just short. Sylvia Hermon (a Northern Ireland independent) would be expected to vote with them and the Greens and Respect would agree on many issues. (Depending on how tight things get, we could see North Down, which includes some of the poshest parts of Northern Ireland, propping up a Labour government). Would the Lib Dems be prepared to enter into a formal coalition with Labour that still required SNP support? Miliband may try and get them on board to add legitimacy but I think they will be reluctant. So on these numbers it would be a Labour minority government relying on the SNP and Plaid and the SDLP and possibly others on a confidence and supply basis. It would be a truly UK affair, but very unstable. The fixed term legislation might mean it could limp along for a while, but surely it could not survive five years?
I think both the major parties might try and form a minority government and things could get a little awkward at the Palace. On these numbers any illness or death could swing the house and Sinn Fein would surely be tempted to take their seats unannounced one day to bring down the government. I think they would resist, once you have done it once the policy of abstentionism would be over, but it could prove a powerful threat. Update- And of course there is the role of Speaker and his deputies who don’t vote, except in the case of a tie when they are supposed to maintain the status quo; but it is fair to say the current Speaker hasn’t always followed tradition.
In the end, I predict a Labour minority, with confidence and supply from a host of others and a new election in a year.
Let’s see how badly wrong I am come Friday morning!