All those mistakes. In government 13 years. An electorate demanding change. Why didn't the Tories run away with it. The answer is that change was not really what was on offer. The voters are not collectively as daft as our contemptuous politicians may think. They knew that we have a financial crisis ahead. They knew that Labour policies contributed to that crisis. They knew that those policies were essentially Tory policies. Voting Tory was never going to bring about much that was different. The canny UK voters were not going to be persuaded that change was on its way with a trite marketing slogan. We, the people, are not that daft.
For the policies that matter - those that deal with the finances - the parties were boxed into a corner. With Labour moved to the right, no clear water and the need to balance our books there was no way the Conservatives could offer a real alternative. Sustainable growth, the mantra repeatedly trotted out by Gordon Brown, has proved illusory.
And why amidst this disenchantment with the two main parties didn't the Liberal Democrats do better? How could they lose seats? Can this make sense? Perhaps once again the electorate were not so naive. Perhaps they realised that a vote for the Lib Dems was tantamount to a Tory vote. Perhaps English voters with a left leaning had nowhere to go. The rule of the political class has become absolute.
09 May 2010