By Bill Collier- The polls could not have been more wrong. Ed Milliband’s Labour Party and David Cameron’s Tories (Conservative Party) were, according to polls, in an extremely tight race in which the Conservatives were predicted to receive 269 of the 650 seats in Parliament and Labour were expected to receive 246 seats. But, as it turned out, the polls were off by quite a bit.
The Tories secured 327 seats, needing a 326 seat majority to form a single Party government or a multi-party majority. The former coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, fell from 56 seats down to 8 seats. Labour received only 232 seats.
Most telling was the fact that the UK Independence Party (UKIP) received only one seat, despite doing so well in the European Parliament elections, while the Scottish National Party, an ultra-left Scottish nationalist party, seems to have swept every seat in Scotland, or all but 2, with 56 seats. Other Parties totalled 23 seats. So, for now, Cameron’s Tory government can, and likely will, dispense with its coalition partner, the Liberal Democrats.
As a result of the drubbing at the polls, the UKIP’s Nigel Farage, the Liberal Democrat’s Nick Clegg, and Labour’s Ed Milliband have all resigned as the heads of their respective Parties. Milliband had been so confident of victory, with a coalition government which might have included Labour and the Liberal Democrats along with a host of minor Parties, that it was rumored he was already making arrangements to occupy 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister’s official residence.
The false reading of the Polls in the UK has followed a trend in polling failures which have ranged from the US and Israel and now to the UK. The fact that the news media in all three nations tends to reflect a leftist ideology, as journalists of the left ideology persuasion are accused of being more likely to discriminate against conservative peers when they get into hiring and firing position, may be part of the cause: their findings are generally, it is alleged, driven both by their wishes and by a desire to create a narrative that influence public opinion.
But the other reasonable explanation is simply bad polling. The means of polling, the methods of sampling to ensure a very random sample, and the weighing of demographic factors based on predicted participation levels are all showing signs of failure. It is now possible, I would posit, that weighing sentiment online by geographic areas would be a more accurate measurement. The fact that polling tends to favor the left may be more indicative of the polling process favoring or over-representing demographic groups that tend to lean left.
With the Tories in the UK’s cockpit of government, it is unlikely that UK policies at home or their foreign policy will change much, however Cameron did promise to hold an up or down, yes or no, vote regarding the UK’s continued participation and membership in the EU, and that election, including its preparation, will dominate politics until 2017 when it is scheduled.
But the strong showing for the Scottish National Party (SNP) ensure that, while the UK and England are dominated by the Conservatives, Scotland will be dominated by an ultra leftist and separatist Party which only recently failed to gain independence for the Scottish state from the rest of the UK. The issue, and potential, of Scottish Independence is far from resolved as the disparity between London and Edinburgh will only get worse. One can be sure that the SNP remain as committed as ever to their vision for an independence, democratic, and socialist Scottish state.
So we see two trends: the UK could leave the EU and Scotland could eventually leave the UK. The very fact that Scotland has so much virtual autonomy NOW is leading many in England to consider creating their own English Parliament to represent their interests and govern their own affairs in like many: this devolution of power from the central government to the member states of the UK is seen by many as desireable and inevitable, though only time will bear out the truth of that sentiment and whether or not devolution truly does occur.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, now has his simple majority government, on a razor’s edge to be sure, but he stands in a much stronger position than any of the polls predicted.