Final election thoughts/predictions

I’ll be blunt: both options are terrible.

Under the Tories the economy has floundered, and thanks to brexit it will continue to flounder for the foreseeable future. The main losers will be as in the financial crash: recent graduates who end up in unemployment and underemployment for years after graduation, and people who do end up on the career ladder but end up with stagnant or falling wages because of the extra competition. We are already at a net loss from 2008 in terms of pay, from which we haven’t recovered, so continuing to devalue people’s wages should be interesting in all the wrong ways. With Theresa May having already burnt through her satisfaction ratings she won’t have a long shelf-life when brexit begins to take a real form. Far be it from a strong and stable government, we’ll probably see an internal power struggle in 2019 with key people setting out their positions and undermining each other before that.

I have a slight preference for a Labour victory because they have the advantage of being an unknown, i.e. they might surprise us and govern the country well and in such a way that encourages prosperity. There’s no risk of surprise competence with a Conservative government; Conservative performance is well known and understood to represent a slow downward trend. The slim possibility of being surprised is really the only positive I feel towards Labour. However, it would be unfair to thrust Labour into the brexit negotiations, which I fully expect to be a disaster, and let them take all the flack. I’d prefer that the Tories suffered the reputation hit from that, since it is a mess of their making.

Overall I am very pessimistic whichever way it goes. Whatever the outcome, the country took a very significant step onto a backwards path last June and this election offers no change of direction. The source of our problems is that we have a combination of weak politicians who are afraid to explain to voters why they are wrong, and unintelligent voters who refuse to entertain the possibility that they might be wrong.

Prediction: Cons 360 seats/42% of the vote, Labour 210/35%, other parties no large difference versus their current seat count. The interesting thing will be Labour significantly increasing their vote share while also losing seats, which will hopefully prompt them to start backing electoral reform.

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