The lightbulb in my room has blown. I woke at….about 20mins ago. The desklamp bulb has gone too, so that all looks well for the week. Our hall light is ripe for picking, and I may do so tonight.
Strange dreams – was talking in bare minimum French to a young lady I cannot describe, but she was noticably beautiful. Then, in the way of dreams, it all changed on a beat to being a very different kind of dream indeed. I had been woken before by the World Service, but this was later, in silence.
Last week of work before a lazy do-nothing holiday. My shoes are falling apart, my room is plunged into darkness, I have nothing much in the cupboards in the way of food, and most vital of all, I have rough sketch plans of a London holiday next year…I need pay day to come.
Sheesh, thinking about it, the next election is a head ache. Just seen Gordon Brown and Tony Blair on the various political shows of the day. Blair is obviously frustrated that the loud ticking countdown clock is getting more and more prominant, less and less easy to talk over. Nothing he says cannot be framed outside the leadership debate, and Brown seems to be licking his lips at the prospect of pushing his own “double-devolution” agenda. Blair is right about David Cameron’s positioning – you cannot build an international policy by being both separate from the US and free from Europe. I notice the media have turned away from the Liberal Democrats before the last train has left Brighton. As a member and supporter of the LibDems I feel this could be the way we run into the next election, much worse than before. There is just no connection between us and the news coverage of the day anymore. Menzies Campbell did not set any kind of agenda, and now the next election is a “squeeze” between the main two. Labour going for a fourth term, the Conservatives hoping for a slender majority, which is all the current figures show they could realistically achieve. The LibDems appear squeezed, I will go to say “sunk”, frankly.
It seems, so far from the date, already as though the next election will be much more “vital” than the last two. So many more parties, so many more posibilities. The new boundaries are just one of the “external” elements far beyond manifesto pledges. The date is likely to fall on the same day as the 2009 European Parliamentary elections – can this context be part of the predictions too?
For the first time in a generation, the UK is looking at a very real possibility of a hung parliament, and as this is something which has never been realistically the case in my lifetime, I cannot guess of any of the gameplay which could occur if that happens.
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net
It is Conference Season. I have not been to a LibDem Conference for time – mostly money, mostly becuase the only benefit ordinary members get from such things is the occasional bad photograph with a prominant face for the FOCUS. Sadly this always used to mean a gurning Lembit Opik (where has he gone, by the way) or a bored Vince Cable. Conference is the chance we get to form our party’s agenda, but the whole event is a draw only to the most committed anoraks.
Whatever happens at Conference, the thoughts will always be on the next General election. If all goes well – that is, if an election is called after Parliament agrees the planned boundary changes, and Ed Balls gets nowhere with his Judicial Review against plans to abolish his constituency, the next election will be run on entirely new boundaries in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Labour will begin with a significent loss due to an increase in larger rural seats more likely to vote Conservative. The LibDem vote appears to have been largely squeezed, as a raft of election prediction web sites are pointing out.
I have taken a number of recent opinon polls, and using the basic averaging out of figures, have an opinion poll average of the past month of Labour 34.5%,.Conservative 32.5%, LibDems 20.0%, discouting others. This seems highly reasonable and credible, and would result, with all the usual caveats, in a Labour majority of 38, and a LibDem collapse from 60 seats to 48. Moving the LibDems up to 22% – about the very highest you could agree on as a credible LibDem figure – and the predictions suggest no change from last year’s election. I can find very few recent polls giving the party anything like 22%. Almost all sit the party no higher than 20%, which is 2% lower than the result of the last election. It seems the party are stuck – the leadership is not attracting media attention, certainly does not reach out to floating voters, and policy ideas seem stuck and ill-defined. If the polls are credible and realistic, the results could see a collapse not seen since the formation of the party, and if I see Cameron’s redifined liberal conservatives attracting the natural centre ground vote on such a squeezed support base, a collapse is all the credible predictions could possibly suggest.
Conference will be optimistic, they always are, but the polls do not look good.
Not sure what this is, actually. In a half-sleep, whilst putting pencils to paper, I wrote a few things, rubbed a few things out, and repeated to fade. This is no way complete, perfect, or even that good, but you know, what is a blog without bad poetry?
“A New Direction”. Think about it.