Thursday, 6 May 2010
Shock Labour lead in Stumville South West
It's election day, for Liberal and Labour voters - Tories get to vote tomorrow.
Labour surged into a 100% share of the vote this morning, exit polls show. By 7.01, the voter had decisively swung behind Labour in this Labour-Tory marginal. When asked why, he replied 'because although Labour have betrayed the people on everything from illegal wars to civil liberties, they did bring in the minimum wage and Sure Start. And anyway, David Cameron is Sauron and I don't fancy working in Mordor'.
OK. The voter was me and nobody else had yet turned up. The Guardian's claiming an 8% lead for the Tories, which wouldn't quite give them a majority, but we'll see: national swings don't count for much in a constituency-based system. They may be doing better in their target marginals, which is bad news, and worse in their Lib Dem targets, which is good news.
The Tories look like getting 35% of the vote. If true, that's an awful result for them. Under Michael Howard, generally loathed, running against Blair (still inexplicable popular), they took 33%. If Cameron can't improve hugely on that, with his personal skills, apparent transformation of the party, in the middle of a massive depression and running against Gordon Brown, then he's an idiot. They should have had the result sewn up years ago. How have they blown it?
I didn't cast my vote for Labour with any enthusiasm. My local MP, Rob Marris, has been an excellent constituency representative and very good on university issues, but he's voted for every reactionary proposal New Labour has dreamed up. Yet again, it's a matter of voting for the 'least worst'. I actually would be very happy with a Lib Dem-Labour coalition: the Lib Dems would tame Labour's authoritarian, reactionary streak, and Labour would rein in the Lib Dems' concealed neoconservative economic policies. However, Rob gets my vote for his personal qualities too.
All the newspaper front pages are here.
I'm reading The Spirit Level at the moment, a social science book for the rest of us, which conclusively demonstrates that unequal societies are sick, violent and mentally ill. Not just the poor in unequal societies, but the rich are less healthy and happy too. I've learned a couple of things from it: I need to move to Norway, and that Cameron's Big Society is utter, utter bullshit. His tax policy - in the deepest recession for 70 years - is to cut taxes for the super-rich. This will make the UK more unequal, and therefore sicker and more violent. Drink and drug dependency will increase and quality of life will suffer. But hey: toffs will be able to rip apart foxes again.
Follow this link for a presentation of the most important graphs proving the points made in the book.