What an election this has been. Each of the main parties seems to have lost. New Labour has lost. Whole swathes of England have turned blue. Yet, despite the enormity of the errors of New Labour, the Tories have not had the runaway victory you might have expected of any electable opposition. The reasons are clear. They were, in so many ways, an opposition only in name. When it came to New Labour's biggest mistakes - Iraq, Afghanistan, the banks, the blind worship of markets - the Tories were not even an opposition in name. Mostly they were there egging our misguided leaders on. As for the Liberal Democrats, there is no argument. They too have lost. In short we have elected a bunch of losers.
What will come out of this? Dr Grumble thinks that our next Prime Minister, whoever that may be, will find himself drinking from a poisoned chalice. Things may seem bad now but they are only going to get worse. How much worse how quickly remains to be seen. Inevitable though it is, the next administration will have to take the blame for the consequences of the stringent measures they will have to impose. What will the consequences be? It will depend. If the Conservatives dominant the next government will New Labour regroup? Will they recognise the mistakes they have made? Will they make some clear blue water by inching themselves to the left? Could we hope for some of the principles, valued now only in the devolved nations, to be brought back? Or, with all these swathes of blue in England, are the parties going to go on drifting further and further to the right so that England becomes more and more like America and less and less like our European neighbours?