Friday funny – It's election week in the UK!

Josh writes: There is a General Election this next week in the UK. Good luck to everyone especially as it looks like there won’t be a clear winner. So after the vote next Thursday there could be days, even weeks, of horse-trading – or should that be fish-trading – as the different parties work out who will work with who to create a working government.


And you can check out Nate Silver predictions here

Cartoons by Josh

103 thoughts on “Friday funny – It's election week in the UK!

  1. I love the complete and utter goof that Miliband pulled off by visiting with Brand….who promptly turned around and said “vote Green!!!” It really is beyond comedic at this point.

  2. I thought Brand advocated not voting!
    It alarms me that politics seems to have taken a swing to the “progressive”, well meaning, left since the start of the campaign. The SNP, Greens and PC are all virtually communist and will be in charge if Labour are in power.

    • “I thought Brand advocated not voting!”
      I can’t help thinking that he changed his view after meeting Ed Milliband.

  3. The good thing about Conservatives winning (looks increasingly likely after yesterday) is that the British people will finally get a vote in 2017 as to whether they want to stay in the EU or not. Finally!

      • Me thinks there’s going to be some surprises with UKIP winning far more seats than any of the latest polls predict. Nigel Farage is a charismatic ‘heart on sleeve’ guy who tells it like it is. And, from what I hear, a lot of Brits admire his honesty and business acumen.

      • Geejam,
        You got it right. Farage wears his heart on his sleeve. The public is desperate for a real straight-talking man, instead of all the plastic politicians who are always triangulating, and trying to figure out what they should say instead of leading.
        Good on Nigel, I hope he kicks butt in the next election. Maybe some American politicians will learn a lesson, and stop acting like they’re afraid of what some fraction of the public thinks.

      • UKIP are expected to get less than 5 seats at the most optimistic of estimates. Plaid Cymru are expected do do as well. Both are irrelevant.
        The UK can be split into battle grounds. Adding them up gives the winner between Lab and Con.
        Scotland: Lab vs SNP. Predicted to go SNP (win for Conservatives).
        North of England: Lab mainly (win for Labour)
        Midlands: Lab vs Con. Very close to call but probably Labour due to manufacturing base and migration (win for Labour)
        Wales: Lab mainly but PC will do better due to media exposure (small win for Labour)
        South East England except London: Con mainly (win for Conservatives).
        London: Lab vs Con. Very close to call but probably Labour due to manufacturing base and migration (win for Labour)
        South West England: LibDem vs Con. LibDems have lost student votes and the protest support (win for Conservatives).
        NI: Other parties who will oppose the SNP but don’t make up the numbers to be useful.
        Total: 3 Conservative, 3 and a bit Labour.
        My prediction: Labour largest party (because of London) but need fringe support (LibDems, PC and Green) with no overall majority.

      • Ukip couldn’t organize the proverbial P**s up in Brewery in-spite of Nigel liking a pint or two or three, let alone an exit from the EU. To be believable re an EU exit referendum they have have to have a plan, they don’t have one period!
        Google “eu referendum flexit” and you will find a true exit plan that ticks all the right boxes and will work.

      • As we all know, thanks to our ‘first-past-the-post’ system, Ukip will win far more votes than it’s ever had, but very few seats. But that doesn’t matter, actually. We need to send a message to all the twats like the BBC, the Grauniad, the Independent, and the Left, that British people want out. At least I think and hope they do. I see Juncker is already back-peddling, now that he can see a vote in 2017. The EU would be hit very hard by a Brexit – and it’s something I will watch with glee. Don’t get me wrong, there will be some disadvantages to leaving, but overall, it will be best in the decades ahead if we are out of this left-wing, undemocratic, nonsense. I shall be voting Ukip despite the fact that they stand slim chance of even getting a number of seats in double figures. You must vote for what you want, not tactically. And I want out of the EU. Don’t even get me started on our leaky borders!

      • Ghost
        If you want a referendum, it looks a if a Tory vote is needed.
        Your review.
        // Your decision.

      • Ghost of Big Jim – I think you are right about UKIP going to get lots of votes and very few seats. Under the UK system, that will be very helpful to Labour. (For those unfamiliar with the UK system, it’s “first past the post” for each constituency. UKIP will take votes principally from the Conservatives, so Labour will likely pick up seats.). If the Greens don’t return the favour by taking seats from Labour for the Conservatives, things could be grim for David Cameron.

      • Friends
        Several here seem to oppose the UK’s ‘first past the post’ electoral system. They ignore that it is the very best system for providing power to the electorate in a representative democracy.
        In our system, small parties are forced to coalesce prior to elections so they can compete to be HM Government who are opposed by HM Loyal Opposition. These opponents sit facing each other in the Commons and are separated by a distance equivalent to the length of two swords. This arrangement is deliberately intended to foster disagreement with the intention of obtaining maximum scrutiny of the actions of HM Government.
        At present the two big coalitions are the Conservative Party (known as Tories) and the Labour Party (i.e. socialists). The Tory party contains members who span the political spectrum from to the left of the extreme right of the socialists all the way to the extreme right of neo-fascism. The socialist party contains members who span the political spectrum from the right of the extreme left of the Tories all the way to the extreme left of neo-Trotskyism.
        Each of these two political parties presents a manifesto prior to a General Election and if elected the success of the resulting government can be assessed by comparing its achievements to its manifesto commitments. The electorate can consider that assessment at the subsequent General Election.
        When there are many small parties they prevent a clear winner of an election. This happened at the last General Election and threatens to occur again this time. Lacking a clear winner, after the election the two main political parties then ‘horse trade’ with the minor parties to devise a manifesto they can support in a coalition government. This provides the resulting government with a manifesto devised AFTER the election so the electorate has no ability to vote on it. This happened last time with resulting additional political apathy of the electorate this time.
        In summation, ‘first past the post’ gives power to the electorate to vote on the manifesto the electorate wants, and any form of ‘proportional representation’ reduces political accountability so takes power from the people and gives it to the politicians.

    • It was the Conservatives in 1973 that took the UK into the “Common Market” as it was called then, even though Heath had no mandate to do so. It was not an election issue. So I think it will be a good move for the UK to hold a referendum on leaving/remaining in the EU. One real good thing was that the UK Govn’t did not ditch Stirling for the Euro.

      • Patrick, please ceckout the facts about us entereing the ‘common market’!
        We were given a referendum, and the people of the the UK had a choice as to what they wanted at that time, and the result was a big ‘Yes’
        We were not asked to vote for anything other than a European trading partnership and not a federal superstate that has been hoisted on us by unelected people in Brussels.

      • Interestingly, after Heath’s passing, it was revealed that when he asked Pompidu if we could join their little club, he was told only if our farming industry & our fishing industry was decimated! What happened in the following years? Precisely that! We were an island nation, dependent upon our own survival without the help of anyone else, we had to grow more food, & fish like hell to live! Were we perfect? Far from it, but at least we were on the right track. And whilst I am on a Friday rant, we are celebrating the end of WW2 very soon, & I wish to again, thank those members of the Virginian Colonies who came to our aid (twice last century), & for the 300,000+ American souls buried in France as a result of the latter event alone, to liberate Europe from tyranny!

      • Patric, you are right about the currency but not the rest. We had a referendum after Heath told a pack of lies about not loosing any rights. First to suffer out fishing industry which went to the Spanish. I voted for the Common Market but not the rest of the crap that followed.
        Common Market OK: EU Bad.

      • Errr no! The referendum happened in 1975, 2 years after Heath took the UK in to the “Common Market”. In 1975, the vote was yes, but Heath DID NOT take that to the electorate in 1973. There is a difference!

      • This is at the same time when New Zealand’s (NZ) primary market was the UK. When the UK joined the “CM”, in 1973, NZ lost it’s primary market.

      • Patrick: “One real good thing was that the UK Govn’t did not ditch Stirling…”
        Please don’t let them ditch Stirling. This week he was on the Mercedes F1 BBM Channel driving vintage racers with Lewis Hamilton – still sounding good. I saw him break the track record in the Players 200 in ’67 at Mosport. Someone in the family was his navigator in the BP Economy run to Ottawa and back – what a story that was, because he coughed his dentures out of the car near the end and they were run over! Nice guy (crazy driver) but hale fellow well met.
        Keep him. Ditch someone else.

      • The people of Stirling must be very pleased they weren’t ditched for the Euro. If it’s the currency, it’s Sterling you want.

      • If labour are returned to power, the UK will have to ditch the pound for the Drachma :¬)

      • “the UK Govn’t did not ditch Stirling for the Euro.”
        The o n l y thing for which we should appreciate Gordon Brown.
        [Not my favourite politician from he last fifty years . . . but he called the Euro right.

      • And when has a politician never told a “pork pie”? Heath? Thatcher? Kinnock? Blair? Brown?…you get my point!

  4. Boris portrayed the Lib Dems as the yellow albatross around the Conservative neck. The SNP will be more like Jacob Marley’s chain for Labour because they created the SNP. The Scottish vote was theirs to lose.

  5. The main problem is that the 2 men most likely to be Prime Minister are Ed “Climate Change Act” Milliband or David “Greenest Government Ever” Cameron. Rock and hard place spring to mind.

      • To the tune of £200,000 (about $320,000) taxpayer funded subsidies each year from his windfarm.

      • But possibly only an equivalent to your/mine Post Office Saving Account.
        For grandees of any part, a mere £100,000 is practically ‘chump-change’.

  6. The Kippers are CAGW sceptics. Cameron, Milliband and Clegg are “climate change” morons and have huge troughing networks. Where does the SNP stand on “climate change”?

    • SNP are very pro turbines, they expect to sell the unwanted electric to the UK after independence. It is a way to keep uk subsidies at the same time as be independent.
      I think there will be a late swing to the conservatives and they will be the dominant party, unfortunately they depend on Libdems who are very “green” minded

      • “It is a way to keep uk subsidies at the same time as be independent.” LOL, they want their cake and to eat it too! Appreciate your reply. Thanks and regards

      • The SNP want Scotland to be powered 100% by renewables by 2020 (Not long now eh?), and then sell surplus to other countries. I see that not working too well for everyone.

      • It is even more cynical than that. The SNP ‘renewables only;’ electricity plan is powered by coal, nuclear & gas. They want to keep a UK-wide power grid after independence partly to sell power when (or more likely if) they have an excess but more importantly so that they can import power when their renewables don’t work.

      • James Bolivar DiGriz,
        That seems like a very strange policy. There’s no reason for Norway Ireland or England to sell them power at a cheap rate.
        We could Putin them.

      • @M Courtney
        I’m not an SNP supporter, I never said that it made sense!
        This is not the only policy that is odd to say the least. Before the referendum, they said that they wanted (and were going to no matter what) carry on using the pound sterling in some sort of currency union, despite all of the major parties saying that this was not an option. Also they said that they would be fact-tracked into the EU as a separate country (despite senior EU officials saying that there is no fact-track option) and that one of the conditions for any country joining the EU is to use the Euro.

      • “James Bolivar DiGriz
        May 1, 2015 at 6:16 am”
        I do not see the UK dropping stirling for the Euro, at all! And good show too!

      • James Bolivar DiGriz, I recall.
        The SNP will say anything to get out of the union. But they don’t seem to know what to do if they get there.
        The only party Labour has refused to do a deal with is the SNP.
        UKIP are in play. The LibDems are OK. Even the Greens can have their day.
        But the SNP have gone too far. And they don’t seem to have realised it.

      • @M Courtney Labour refuse to deal with SNP because they know this prospect frightens UKIP supporters back into the conservative camp, and also English/Welsh labour supporters to either abstain,vote UKIP or Green. The SNP have scuttled Labours chances.
        Miliband was the energy minister who left the UK energy policy heavily reliant on renewables and no plans for sustainable or affordable power grid, he is an arch believer in CAGW and also believes windmills and solar panels solves the CO2 problem. That he really goes for this stuff tells us a lot about his level of intellect. We have to thank the SNP for saving us from the prospect of a Miliband led majority government.
        Personally I think the Conservatives will win a majority government, thanks to fear of the SNP and teh collapse/fracturing of Lib Dem support to the greens. Whatever you think of Cameron he has played a canny game.

      • Julian Williams in Wales
        You say

        Whatever you think of Cameron he has played a canny game.

        That remains to be seen and we only have to wait until tomorrow morning to find out.
        What we do know is that Cameron made the sensible decision to avoid facing Miliband in a TV debate. Milliband wiped the floor with Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions each week, and Cameron’s fear of that happening in an election debate induced his obviously good decision. However, Cameron has overplayed the matter by running the negative anti-Milliband campaign which has caused many electors to wonder what Cameron is afraid of and, therefore, that campaign may backfire.
        As I said, we only have to wait until tomorrow morning to discover the election result.

  7. I see the UK Guardian newspaper is deleting a number of posts on their article
    ‘England faces major rise in record hot years due to climate change – scientists’
    Such innocuous posts as this from Maida Comment
    “Disagree and be deleted”
    Can no longer be found. Apparently it violates “community standards.”
    And interestingly the deletions are not noted. It seems the moderators are working over time to get rid of any dissent.
    This is also gone.
    “ieclark 1m ago
    I see some comments by climate change sceptics are being removed.
    Which raises the interesting point, now that the Guardian is running a campaign related to fossil fuels and climate change, can it be relied on for objective reporting of the subject?”

  8. Sages throughout the ages have voiced disdain for democracy. The sage of Baltimore said:

    Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. ~ H. L. Mencken

    However, a Mencken quote that is a favorite of mine and that is more apropos to the present post is:

    Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage. ~ H. L. Mencken

    Disclaimer: Note that just because I realize that democracy is a horror does not mean I find any of the other forms of the State any less of a horror.

  9. I came across a link to this

    interview with Natalie Bennett (the Green Party leader).
    I have not had a chance to watch it but the interesting bit is from 8:15 onwards. The interviewer starts asking about climate change and she refuses to (cannot?) debate with him but just walks off in a huff.

    • Most of my life I’ve been a supporter for the equality of women and the superiority of quite a few of them in all sectors of society but I’m getting more and more concerned about them in politics these days. I think they feel the need to go where no man has gone before or something rather than offer good common sense government. We have a Green Party Leader in Canada, too, who is apparently very smart but the country would have to hand in its membership card as a country if she ever got a hold of the reins. Ditto Hillary Clinton.
      Golde Mier, a Prime Minister of Israel, said it this way:
      “Not being beautiful was the true blessing. Not being beautiful forced me to develop my inner resources. The pretty girl has a handicap to overcome.”
      Come to think of it pretty boys have the same problem. Bald guys with brains aren’t welcome in leadership ranks. They don’t look good on TV. The requirement is like some genetically engineered food. Put a fish gene in a cucumber to make it look good and keeps well but, it tastes like fish.

      • I’m not sure gender is the issue It’s a lack of reason and integrity.
        And I’m not sure Ms Bennett would be anymore rational if she was less beautiful. It’s not her glamour that defines her as a politician.

    • >>she refuses to (cannot?) debate with him but just walks off in a huff.<<
      I think she walked off in a minute-and-a-huff.

  10. A party like UKIP had an opportunity as a new party to sweep out the clones that every sane person must be sick and tired of by now, but too much looney fringe and too big a pill to swallow. If they had been serious about trying to win, they would have had their best chance simply pot shooting the record of disaster to all aspects of British life and keep their powder dry for working on an exit strategy from the EU for later. I see a similar opportunity blown by the Tea Party in US.
    The alternative to the EU is the 2 billion english speaking peoples’ market which shares British (once upon a time, perhaps) values and way of doing business. Labour has abandoned the working poor in a deal with the green devil that is busy distributing wealth to rich windmill and solar farm owners from the meagre pockets of their constituency. Conservatives/Libs are the main beneficiaries of this egregious scheme.
    Like all the world’s universities and government scientific and social program departments, there is no middle ground, The whole works has to be swept out and rebuilt.

  11. I am amused the the General Election Predictor in Josh’s link is modelled by someone from the University of East Anglia.

  12. Whether we have reached the tipping point remains to be seen. However, we’re getting lots of support on the doorstep and we’ll do spectacularly well in Haverhill if we can keep pushing.
    We are on the cusp of strange things where every single vote counts. Off leafletting again tomorrow. Lordie, this is getting tiring.
    I was accused of being a climate denier on radio Suffolk this morning. I’ll wear that badge with pride.

  13. I wish that I had some understanding and perspective of the UK political system and gov’t. But alas, I don’t.
    Nicely done cartoon even if I do not understand it.

    • John, It’s not that complex. The lower house (the House of Commons) has 650 members each of whom represents a geographical constituency. Each constituency elects a representative on a FPTP post basis. Once the newly elected representatives are sworn in (they take an oath to the Queen) they become MPs (Members of Parliament).
      If one party has an overall majority (>325* MPs) then the leader of that party becomes the Prime Minister (PM).
      If, as seems likely this year, no one party has an overall majority then the previous PM (in this case David Cameron, Conservative) gets first go at forming a coalition.
      Some votes in the House of Commons are confidence matters. If the government loses one of those then the House does not have confidence in the government and it will resign. The annual budget bill is a confidence matters, as is the government’s plan for the next session (called the Queen’s speech, delivered by the Queen but written by the government).
      If David Cameron cannot form a plausible coalition or loses a confidence vote, then the leader of the other big party (Ed Milliband, Labour) will have a go at forming a coalition.
      If neither of then can form a workable coalition there will almost certainly be another general election.
      * A PM can get by with a bit less than this as a small number of elected representatives (5 in the last parliament) do no take their seat in the HoC and at any one time some MPs will not be present; died in office and a replacement not yet elected, sick, out of the country on business, etc.

      • Thank you James. Simply and factually explained.
        Many of us here, who get their daily fix from WUWT, would only wish that the same back-to-basics logical explanation could be applied to CAGW.

      • James Bolivar DiGriz o May 1, 2015 at 12:48 pm
        – – – – – – – – –
        James Bolivar DiGriz,
        I appreciate your tutorial.

    • Ok John, I took the bait. Here it is in as few words as I can do:
      There are/were three principle political parties. These are:
      The Conservatives (called Tories)
      Liberal Democrats
      As of late there is also Ukip (who advocate Britain leaving the EU, and to have control back of our borders – since we started letting everyone in). The Scottish National Party have also now become a factor.
      There are areas of Britain split up into ‘constituencies’ – 650 of them. Within each will be elected an ‘MP’. The system means that you vote for a political party, and the one who leads the party in that area gets to be an MP.
      Then, on voting night, it’s simply a matter of how many constituencies the parties can accrue.
      The Tories traditionally favoured the upper classes, but they also now appeal to the aspiring middle classes.
      Labour was initiated by the trades union movement, who demanded change after World War 2. The Labour movement have brought this country great things, like a social security system, and a free national health system. But in the past few decades Labour has moved away from the unionesque side as their traditional votors gained in prosperity. However, the unions still wield great power in Labour. Labour has favoured mass immigration into Britain. The Tories also favoured it, as it brought in cheap workers to fuel factory output and essential services like hospitals. The Liberal Democrats are largely now ignored and irrelevant. Their ‘liberal’ view on many things has damaged society, like lenient justice. Ukip have become a political force despite having no MPs at all, as they appeal to a growing discontent with a French?german dominated EU, and our inabilty to halt massive immigration. The rise of Scottish nationalism has brought us the SNP – who favour Scottish independence. They voted last year for independence, but it was a turned down by the Scots.
      Our ‘first-past-the-post’ system means that no matter how many people vote for a political party, it is still the number of constituencies that matter – as these mean a seat in Parliament (the House of Commons). If a party doesn’t have an overall majority, then it cannot get its policies through as ‘law’, and has to get other parties to agree (who may have their own agenda). We also have the ‘House of Lords’ – but that’s just a place where old men and women of no significance, but fortune of birth, go to sleep, and talk complete bollocks. Bizarrely, they actually do still have powers of legislature. A very much unknown fact is that the Queen still has power too.
      People have begun to feel powerless, as the two main parties both favour immigration and to stay in the EU. Ukip offers long-term hope, but many see them as racists, simply because of their pro-British stance, especially those on the Left – who see an erosion of their power if we leave the left-leaning EU. As of now, it looks like we will leave the EU, and that further pressure will see another Scottish independence vote as a result of that…and many English people (the majority) would want Scotland to go.

      • We also have the ‘House of Lords’ – but that’s just a place where old men and women of no significance, but fortune of birth, go to sleep, and talk complete bollocks. Bizarrely, they actually do still have powers of legislature.

        I’m led to believe that the hereditary members no longer have a vote and are largely supplanted by appointed “lords” from political and other self-interested sources and who wield what was once traditional feudal power. Is this the case?

      • UKIP have two MPs, Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless both of whom defected from the Conservatives and resigned their seats and were re-elected as UKIP MPs.

      • I may not be many English people, but I do not want Scotland to go, as the costs and intricacies of separation would be huge, and on a good day, I love ’em.
        OTOH I do want to leave the EU, whilst negotiating a trade agreement. Does it seem hypocritical to want the UK to leave the EU and Scotland not to leave the UK? Be that as it may.
        Anyway, given this, and my support of this website, I am obviously a UKIP supporter! The country seems to be divided into those who see UKIP as really serious and a meaningful change to politics, and those who regard them as a joke. The latter seem to be in preponderance, so even 10 seats on a 15% vote would be a fantastic result. But on May 8th I can see everyone being disappointed, including UKIP.

      • The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley on May 1, 2015 at 12:54 pm
        – – – – – – – – –
        The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley,
        Thanks of the quick lesson.

      • I have no idea where The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley is from but his from piece I would take it that he is not British.
        There is a lot of opinion there, to which he is of course entitled but which is not that helpful to someone who, like John Whitman, is not knowledgeable about the subject.
        Also there a number of factual errors as well.
        “The system means that you vote for a political party”
        Partially true. In theory you vote for a person to represent you, however the party system means that many people vote for the candidate of their party whoever that is. However there are genuine independents, not aligned to any party, and even for party candidates the person matters. When a party is having a bad time (votes & MPs down) some candidates of that party will still do well because of who they are.
        “and the one who leads the party in that area gets to be an MP”
        Nonsense. The person who leads a party in a constituency is the chairman of the local party association. It is very rare for that person to stand as the candidate. That chairman and the activists will be local people. Because of the party system it is, sadly, quite common for the central party organisation to ‘parachute’ in a candidate who has little or no connection with that constituency.
        Ed Milliband (leader of the Labour Party) is north London born & bred. Apart from time at Oxford & Harvard. His constituency is in Doncaster, c. 150 miles from London.
        “The Tories traditionally favoured the upper classes, but they also now appeal to the aspiring middle classes”
        Well going backwards through recent elections, the Conservatives %age of the vote has been; 36.1 (2010), 32.4, 31.7, 30.7, 41.9, 42.2, 42.4, 43.9, & 35.8 (October 1974) which does not seem like such a narrow base of support as is implied.
        “Labour was initiated by the trades union movement, who demanded change after World War 2”
        The rise of the Labour party dates back to WWI rather than WWII. In 1950 the conservatives got 40.0% of the vote, in 1951 48.0%, in 1955 49.7%. Hardly the boom years for Labour.
        “However, the unions still wield great power in Labour”
        More than a little understatement there. Len McCluskey is the leader of the biggest union financially supporting Labour and he put Ed Milliband in place.
        “The Liberal Democrats are largely now ignored and irrelevant”
        Except for the fact that they have been in government for the last five years. After the 2010 election the Conservatives were 20 seats short of an overall majority. They formed a coalitions with the LDs (who had 57 seats).
        There are good reasons to think that the LDs will lose some seats in the 2015 election, estimates range from something like 20-40. However if, as many people suspect there is a hung parliament* then there is a good chance that a new coalition government will include the LDs.
        * The technical term for when no one party has an overall majority. And the source of many jokes!
        “Ukip have become a political force despite having no MPs at all”
        As Knutsfordian pointed out they had two MPs. Also in the 2014 European elections (which are done on a PR basis) UKIP came top, winning 24 (out of 73) seats.
        “as they appeal to a growing discontent with a French?german dominated EU, and our inabilty to halt massive immigration”
        Some (many but hard to say how many) UKIP supporters are ex-Conservatives who believe that the Conservative party is no longer conservative and so does not represent them.
        “The rise of Scottish nationalism has brought us the SNP – who favour Scottish independence. They voted last year for independence, but it was a turned down by the Scots”
        What he means is that there was a referendum in Scotland over independence from the UK. The resolution failed but the publicity helped to boost the SNP profile. Conservative, Labour & LD all opposed the resolution.
        In 2010 there were 1 Conservative, 41 Labour, 11 LD & 6 SNP MPs from Scotland, 59 total. Polls indicate that the SNP are likely to win over 50 this time, which will be a huge lose to Labour.
        “We also have the ‘House of Lords’ – but that’s just a place where old men and women of no significance, but fortune of birth, go to sleep, and talk complete bollocks”
        Again nonsense.
        The House of Lords is the upper, or revising, chamber. Until 1958 the members of the HoL were principally nobles (Dukes, Earls, etc) who had inherited their place there, known as hereditary Peers. After 1958, Life Peers were introduced, people who were made Barons and allowed to sit in the HoL but whose title did not pass on to their children. This was an odd system, but it did work very well.
        The hereditary Peers came from all parts of the country and many (most?) of them had a great deal of experience of life. Some no longer had any land to go with the title and so had to have jobs. Even those who did have land (and possibly a big house) did not have the life that you might think from Downton Abbey. Many estates had been reduced by inheritance tax (death duties) and making ends meet was not easy, especially if there was a big house as those things just eat money in maintenance, heating, etc.
        The Life Peers came from a broad cross-section of backgrounds, politicians were in a minority. All Peers (hereditary & life) had (and still have) the option of siding with a party (‘taking the party whip’) or of being independent (a crossbencher). Membership of the HoL was very large (1,330 from Wikipedia) but most of those were not active. The working Peers (those who were regularly active) numbered something like 650 and of those maybe 200 were crossbenchers (those numbers are from memory). However whenever expertise of a particular area was needed it was almost always possible to find a member who knew about that area.
        This system was odd but it was not broken – so Tony Blair decided to fix it. In 1999 most of the hereditary Peers were removed. Blair wanted to remove all of them but was obliged to back-track. So now the position is that the hereditary Peers elected 92 of their number to continue to sit in the HoL. When one of those 92 dies a bye-election takes place.
        However Life Peers have continued to be created and so the HoL has grown and has changed in character. After 1999 it had 669 members and now it is up to c.830. Also those made Life Peers are much more likely to be politicians than before. In quite a few cases they are failed politicians, senior members of a party who have failed more than once to win a seat as an MP. The %age of crossbenchers is also lower than before.
        “Bizarrely, they actually do still have powers of legislature”
        Of course they do, the HoL is part of Parliament.
        “A very much unknown fact is that the Queen still has power too”
        Well, yes and no.
        There is a sort of legal fiction (‘the Crown in Parliament’) that says that Parliament is executing Royal powers. Also a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament when it receives the Royal Assent.
        Theoretically Royal Assent can be withheld, the last time that this was done was in 1708!

      • Ooops!
        I wrote
        “how the UK functions as a Constitutional democracy”
        when I intended
        “how the UK functions as a Constitutional monarchy”.

  14. Farage, leader of UKIP, is a recreational sea angler. When off duty he fishes from boats and from the shore at Dungeness and other beaches in Kent. He would be very unlikely to want to catch that sturgeon and would throw it back if he did.
    In the matter of angling, as well as politics, he would show the others in the boat to be incompetent fools.
    Sorry, but it’s poor research Josh, it’s the others who will be green and sick next Friday.

    • It’s amazing. If you read newspapers and watch British TV, you’d get the impression that people think Ukip are a bunch of racists and homophobes. I can tell you that I speak to a lot of people in my daily life, and so many of them express support for Ukip! I just hope that these people will follow through with their support. Ukip would still be lucky to get a number of seats in double figures, but I hope their vote numbers will shock many in the establishment, like the BBC, the Guardian, and especially the Daily Mirror.

      • @ Ghost of Big Jim. Let’s all set a date for next Friday 8 May to revisit this WUWT thread and see how accurate our predictions are . . . .
        GeeJam’s prediction: UKIP win 18 constituencies – mostly in the South East of England.

      • Geejam, yes, let’s keep this thread alive. You and I could post something once per day?
        18 would be fantastic, but if I have to pick a number it is 7.
        The other thing I want to measure is whether UKIP > Libdem + Green in popular vote. I really want that to happen, and it could…

      • Mardler (3:20pm): It depends on where you live.
        If you live in the East, vote UKIP because seats can be won there.
        If you live in a safe Tory seat, vote UKIP to make your voice and the party’s voice heard in the national percentage.
        If you live in a Labour/UKIP marginal, vote UKIP to try to win seats off them, which would give the lie to UKIP only undermining the Tories. UKIP doesn’t just appeal to the right wing.
        If you live in a Labour/Tory marginal, don’t vote UKIP.

  15. The UK election outcome was always clear: Red Ed Marxiband (aka Ed Miliband, he of the Climate Change Act) will be PM.
    My call has always been a clear 30 seat majority but failing that he’ll lead a Lab/SNP coalition in a government so close to communism they should call it just that.
    For non Brits, Labour is a socialist party. The SNP is a national socialist party.
    Every Labour government since WW2 has wrecked the UK economy.
    Yet Labour still gets elected proving that the electorate is dumb:-
    “Repeating the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.” AEE
    34% of the UK electorate will, on May 7, declare themselves clinically mad.

    • Many governments of both colours have “wrecked” the UK economy. Yet somehow it still teeters along.
      Think of the dark days of 1973 (Conservative June 1970-February 1974) – OK, you will cite external forces in the shape of the oil price shock, but Labour can say the same thing about the 2008 financial crisis.
      Think of the dark days of 1992 (Conservative 1979-1997), shoring up the pound with vast amounts of money before exiting the European “snake”, with a deep recession partly blamed on the “Barber boom” in house prices in 1987-1989.

      • For this election, voters should vote for the party whose current policies match those the voter believes in. Loyalty, past history, track record, are irrelevant in this complex election. Acting ‘tactically’ also questions the values of a true democracy. this time, I am voting UKIP because I agree with 90% of their policies – primarily their sensible views on energy & climate, immigration, Europe and Grammar Schools.
        But, if some 20% of ‘floating voters’ who, on the day, really preferred UKIP – but voted for another party instead, they will get another chance if a 2nd UK General Election is called by July. This will only happen if the first two attempts to form a coalition government both fail to get a full vote of confidence in the commons (which could be likely). This means that the original ‘floating voters’ who still would have preferred UKIP, will vote UKIP this time when they see the high percentage of national votes UKIP cast first time round. Does this make sense?

      • Well done, GeeJam, for “keeping the kettle boiling”.
        I went to a seminar at an Oxford college yesterday (yes, academia sleeps not for Bank Holidays!), and the politics don, in an almost throwaway remark, talking about the 100 seats that Conservatives and Labour will _not_ win, said that UKIP would take 2, or perhaps 3. But he also said, more generally, that this election was so difficult to assess that our guess might be as good as his, except that if he was wrong it would be for “more complex reasons”.
        My 7, and your 18, need him to be seriously wrong.
        He was asked about a fantasy second election in 6 months between Boris Johnson and David Milliband, but discounted it for several reasons, in particular that some sort of government can potter along for longer than that. But I find your comment intriguing on that question.
        Regarding policies one agrees with, I would subtract grammar schools (I attended 2 grammar schools and 2 comprehensives, is that a record?) and add agriculture. I can’t understand why Cornwall wouldn’t vote UKIP in a big way, except that the decimation of the fisheries leaves few fishermen to vote.
        GeeJam, I look forward to your blog tomorrow 🙂

      • Looks like we will have a mostly dry, but cool, day tomorrow for the election. Cool enough for people to think, “global warming’s not up to much, let’s vote for a party which will not waste money on climate change efforts”? And UKIP is that party.
        Most readers here are probably not British, but please spare a thought for us. If you believe in God, perhaps you will say a little prayer that UKIP will fare a little better than expected. Coming third in the popular vote, with perhaps a 4-fold increase over 2010’s result will be fine, but what we really need are SEATS.

  16. Afternoon Rich,
    Fisheries and agriculture ranks fairly high on my ‘shopping list’ as well – but, as you are aware, sadly many of the rural farming community are staunch conservatives.
    I hail from cash strapped family, growing up in a small end terraced house near to London, yet passed my 11+ at Junior School and was then given the choice of attending grammar school or technical high school. I chose the latter. I’ve had a pretty good career since helped by my ‘O’ & ‘A’ level passes mostly in ‘practical’ subjects (such as biology, geography) rather than academic subjects. I’m now enjoying semi-retirement in my mid-fifties. The current state education system rarely promotes/encourages the bright kids anymore. Luckily, our daughter went to a brilliant comprehensive school (probably like the ones you went to), and is now a solicitor following her 4-year degree at University.
    Conversely, both children of a wealthy client of mine went to expensive private schools and are now studying at Oxford. For whatever reason, his children are fairly boring, lack social skills, have little practical common sense and show hardly any business acumen. But, they do have pots of money. Probably, like many of our politicians, then!
    Happy voting for tomorrow . . . .

    • Ha GeeJam, we’ve just crossed in the posting, 8 minutes apart! Hence I replied to my posting rather than yours.
      Vote early, vote often, as the Irish say…

      • Time now 7:30 pm on Polling Day.
        Update for Rich:
        Wife and I just strolled up to village hall polling station on a balmy sunny evening and voted for our MP and District Councillor (UKIP) plus our Parish Councillors (eliminating those who have an obsession to railroad their own highly opinionated agendas and see themselves as ‘self appointed elders’ of our village whilst poo-pooing any constructive, innovative and alternative ideas for local improvements). Sadly, these same people also regularly frequent and seem to take over our two village pubs – which is one reason why my wife and I now stay at home! Conclusion: Maybe it’s these ‘do-gooders’ who are destroying English village pubs – not for any other reason! Now there’s a thought.

  17. Hi GeeJam, many thanks for the update. Sitting here with a glass of Shiraz just after the stupendous exit poll, giving the Conservatives 316 seats with easy means to get a viable coalition.
    Meanwhile UKIP predicted to get only 2 seats, but they themselves think more like 5, and UKIP just came an unexpected second in Sunderland South, the first seat to declare (Lab hold on +4%).

    • I take it that you’re still awake then?
      Lib Dems & Greens being trounced by UKIP – but early days.
      3 results in, 647 to go. It’s going to be a long night. Strong cup of Gold Blend steaming away.

      • Yes of course I am. My wife has just gone up though – she’s a Labour supporter and not well pleased.
        I think you may do better during the night – it is at times like these that I wish I liked coffee. Will I be able to stay up for Farage around 6am? Tories starting to claim they will win his attempted seat of Thanet South; meanwhile all but the Tories are doubting the exit polls. Fascinating.
        Which channel are you watching? Debate on BBC1 is generally good, but graphics and information at Sky News superior.

      • Flicking between (i) BBC (but difficult to follow the pig’s ear of info at base of screen), (ii) ITV (clear concise info & a delicious looking Nina Hossain) and (iii) iPad. Don’t have Sky.

  18. I wrote earlier: “Coming third in the popular vote, with perhaps a 4-fold increase over 2010’s result will be fine, but what we really need are SEATS.” In fact UKIP did gain a 4.2-fold increase of the share of the vote compared with 2010, and they did poll more than the Lib-Dems and Greens combined, but with only 1 seat their ratio of seats to percentage was 0.08 compared to the SNP’s 11.9. Go figure.
    GeeJam I’m now wishing I’d tried ITV a bit more!

    • See you around Rich . . . . (may bump in to each other on other WUWT posts)
      Good on you for getting parts of your prediction close. You win. My election prediction was miles away from reality. Electoral reform is UKIP’s best hope for 2020.

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