Monday, 17 November 2014

Time For Ed Miliband To Quit

This week in my Crawley Observer column, which came out on the day of Ed Miliband's latest doomed re-launch, I have written about how time is running out for Labour to replace Ed Miliband.

Ed Miliband has become a figure of public ridicule
"Last week in this column, as we reached six months before the general election, I wrote about how uncertain the outcome looked with it almost being impossible to predict what political colour or colours of government we will end up with.
However, what is certain is that the Prime Minister that emerges after the election will be the leader of either the Conservative or Labour party. The same is true in Crawley in that it is certain that our MP will be elected from one of the two main parties, which of course directly affects who will become our Prime Minister.

The last 30 years have shown that whichever party wins in Crawley, also sees their leader becoming Prime Minister. We elect individual MPs with a Parliamentary system but the reality is that a Conservative vote is a vote for David Cameron to be Prime Minister and that a Labour vote is a vote for Ed Miliband to be Prime Minister.
As I write on Sunday, it is looking uncertain that it will be Ed Miliband leading the Labour party into the election. It appears that many in the Labour party have finally woken up to what the rest of us knew years ago, in that Ed Miliband is widely not seen as a credible potential Prime Minister. People may well ask if Crawley Labour will continue to sing the praises of Ed Miliband and if they intend to feature him strongly in their election material next year?

A leadership contest has to happen very soon or Labour will have to painfully plod on until May with Ed Miliband. I suspect he may be persuaded by colleagues to resign which would be the easiest way to replace him. I hope this happens as regardless of the obvious electoral advantage to the Conservatives of Ed Miliband leading Labour into the election, I view it as vital for democracy that our country has a choice of two credible Prime Ministers at the election."

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Six Months Until The General Election

This week in my Crawley Observer column, I have written about the general election that takes place in six months' time and the current unfairness in the system. I expect I will write about the election a few times over the coming months.
This week's bookies odds for the next Prime Minister 
"This week will be exactly six months until next years’ general election which takes place on Thursday the 7th of May. Despite being interested in this event, I have to confess that I am no wiser than I was six months ago or indeed a year ago, as to what the eventual outcome will be.
As things stand, everything seems to point to another hung parliament and that makes predicting who will be in government the most uncertain election outcome in a generation. All sorts of permutations and possibilities that have not happened before are being discussed. The various potential outcomes may well focus minds on our voting system as well as the unfairness of some constituencies having many less voters than others.

A hint of what may happen came at the 2005 general election. Experts have calculated that in 2005 with an equal share of the vote, the Conservatives would have won 111 fewer seats than Labour. Labour won a comfortable majority with a national vote share of 35.2% to the Conservative’s 32.4%. In England, the Conservatives won a small majority of the vote over Labour (35.7% to 35.5%) but Labour won 286 English seats to the Conservatives’ 194.
Next year, we really could be looking at a situation where the Conservatives win the most votes not just in England but overall, but that Labour win the most seats (or win fewer seats than the Conservatives), but still form a minority government propped up by the SNP. While that would be a legitimate election outcome, the obvious unfairness of it would risk creating a huge disenfranchisement of the voting public, if the party that came second in terms of votes (and maybe seats as well) was the lead party in government.

Labour and the LibDems cynically stopped the boundary review that would have helped to equalise the constituencies, ensuring that Labour’s inbuilt unfair advantage of the current boundaries remains. I hope that this unfairness that directly impacts on the election outcome, is not compounded by another unfairness, that being that the party that comes second actually ‘wins’ the election."