In a shock election, the conservative party, led by David Cameron has gained a six point majority in the House of Commons. We have lost three leaders of the main parties as Ed Milliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage failed to get the public on their side. In the words of Alex Salmond, ‘the Scottish Lion has roared’ as the SNP took Scotland by a landslide. In the most controversial election in decades, what happens next and why did the British people make the decisions they did?
First lets look at what happened at yesterdays election and why. Winning 56 out of 59 seats in the election, Scotland sent a very strong message to Labour and Westminster. Scottish people have told us their voice matters, they are not happy with what is happening in England and they want more control over their country and they are determined to take it, even if it means putting power in the very young hands of 20 year old Mhairi Black. Whether that means another Independence referendum or bringing more powers to Edinburgh, the SNP actions over the next few months will tell what’s next for the Union.
The undecided voters in this election sealed the future of Britain. Those who woke up on the 7th May, undecided on who to vote for, when it came to the ballot box, chose the conservative party. Undecided voters forced shadow ministers to loose seats, most famously Ed Balls, and cabinet ministers to loose deposits!
This was not an election that has been won through great campaigning, great policies and great faith in the conservative party. The SNP threat, exacerbated by opposing Politian’s and media, perhaps spooked people into shifting towards the conservatives or UKIP.
The possibility of more borrowing and blame for the 2008 crash falling to Labour and the lack of trust in the Liberal Democrats, has made people vote for the conservative party and many other issues. The election was won on fear and grievance and David Cameron played on that well.
If I only make one prediction for the next five to ten years, something that this election has or will bring to the forefront, it is the validity of the first past the post system. What kind of modern democratic system allows a party with 50% of the votes have almost 100% of seats? How is it, in a modern democracy, a party, however backward in my opinion, with over 12% of the vote only have one seat?
In a proportional representation system, although David Cameron would be calling the shots with his 36% of the vote, if Labour, SNP and Lib Dems teamed up with their 43.1% share of the vote, they could smash any Tory policy put through. This could cause distrust in a conservative leader and trigger another election. I predict the first past the post system will be under scrutiny and a potentially swing issue in the 2020 election.
So what happens next for Britain? Once David Cameron has formed his cabinet, we will notice him in Brussels a lot more. Cameron will be negotiating what he calls a ‘new deal for Britain’ in Europe in order to hold a EU referendum, but only if he can get the European changes he needs. The success of David Cameron’s government rests on his ability to make a change in Europe. If Cameron can’t deliver by 2017, there could potentially be a leadership challenge.
We can thankfully see basic pensions rise under a conservative government by 2.5% and no increase in tax for the poor. For those that can afford to pay more however, they will get a tax cut. This will also be in line with lowering the benefits cap of £23,000 per household. There will be an increase in NHS funding £8 Billion, but that is likely to fall to the responsibility of private companies and most likely to pay for what we have now and wont really be able to pay for more nurses and essential at home and local care which is proven to be the best type of care. Not to mention this other £12 Billion that is being cut form the welfare budget.
We will see university prices rise again because Cameron wants to remove the cap on what they can charge. Cameron has said it will give people the skills people need to work and in a way, he is right but not because people are going to university. People will get more skilled in manual or skilled labour with more apprenticeships. An inevitable increase in trade workers is something to celebrate but paired with a reduction in academically skilled people, doctors, scientists and teachers due to increased fee’s is something to be worried about, we’re quite literally going back to the future.
With regards to education, the conservative party is going to continue with their policies of free schools and academies and not change much. My personal worry is, in my constituency at least, a majority of our state schools are outstanding, it’s the free schools that are not quite reaching the mark and if there are more of them, the borough wont be seen as a good place to educate your child and from my experience, that is really not the case.
As the final election seats come in and David Cameron has tea with the Queen at the Palace, the people of Britain has spoken, they have changed the political landscape and have made a choice. That doesn’t mean we stop there. We still have choices to make and we can still lobby our MPs to vote the way we want. Let this be the beginning of great change.
Was this the result you wanted? What would you change? Are you worried or excited? Let me know in the comments below!
Over and Out