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Profile Chris SCrowdfunding Project Donor
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Message 1633526 - Posted: 27 Jan 2015, 13:29:20 UTC

We are now entering the last 100 days before the UK general election on 7th May 2015. All the Major and minor parties are now implementing their final plans in the run up to polling day. So far the professional pundits still say that it is too close to call with an expected hung parliament again, with no one party in overall control. I would suggest that it is fairly easy to see why we are back to 2010 again, although with a few twists this time.

Then as now, nobody wants to see a majority Tory Government, they simply can't be trusted to run the country with a free hand. A majority Labour government would mean Milliband as PM, Ballsy as Chancellor, and Cooper as Home Secretary. The merest thought of that is a total nightmare .....

So there are two options, a minority government or another coalition of some sort.

Minority administrations never last, the opposition at some point will table a motion of no confidence in the Government which triggers another general election. Cameron has said that he will never go into coalition with a smaller party again, but faced with a minority government and the likelihood of a second general election this year which Labour could likely win, he may be forced to eat his words and do a U turn.

The same would go for a minority Labour Government, with the front bench they have they wouldn't last 5 minutes and they know it. So what coalition possibilities do we have? Labour and Lib dems have said that they could work together. And this time we have the upsurge of the SNP and UKIP to take into account. The SNP says they also could work with Labour. The greens are also getting popular. It is quite possible that we may have a government made up of primarily one of the two main parties propped up with 2 or even 3 smaller coalition parties.

My own personal view is that I would like to see the current coalition continue. The joint policies on the economy are working, we have Ministers and Cabinet Ministers with their feet firmly under the table and well ahead in making their policies work. Why throw all that down the drain and start all over again.

BUT

That will not work unless the Tories and the Lib Dems sit around that table and re-negotiate the Coalition agreement for the benefit of the country not the two parties. It can be done. The Lib Dems it has to be said have not made the best of their chance to be in Government for the first time in 70 years, and yes Clegg is a weak link. But the country needs them to rein in the other two parties as a parliamentary policemen. So how do we acheive that?

Voting Labour or Tory will let either of the main two parties in with a majority. The best deal is tactical voting. The more Lib Dem seats that are won, the more power they will have as the third party which will let them engineer a meaningful controlled coalition with whomever for the benefit of the country.

I haven't mentioned UKIP. Every country needs a protest party, if we didn't have one we would have to invent one. In the old days it was simple

If you haven't got any money, and you want some, you vote Labour
I you have some money and you want to keep it, you vote Tory
If you are a don't know you vote Liberal


It is a bit more sophisticated these days. We are the same as the USA with basically a two party system taking it in turns to run the country. But we have the option of coalition governments, all they have is something called an Electoral College who seem answerable to nobody. On four occasions, most recently in 2000, the Electoral College system has resulted in the election of a candidate who did not receive the most popular votes in the election. How democratic is that?

The next 100 days will be very interesting to say the least!
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Message 1633536 - Posted: 27 Jan 2015, 13:48:21 UTC

My parents decided for the last election that they would vote for whichever candidate was the first to come to the door in person and ask them to vote for him. (That's not a sexist 'him', all the candidates happened to be male.)

As it happened, William Hague was the first (and only) to canvass them personally (they got leaflets from all of them, but that's too easy), so he got their votes.

I voted Lib Dem, my previous statements on that are a matter of public record that i'm not going into again.

I will concede that, despite my biases against certain coalition members, it does seem to be working. There are parts i'm not happy with, although there would be with any government; but the deficit is going down, the economy is growing (not massively, but any growth is an improvement), unemployment is decreasing, bins are being emptied, i haven't been stabbed whilst walking home, things are okay.

Cue three months of bluster, back-biting, propaganda and empty promises from all sides of the political spectrum...
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Message 1633542 - Posted: 27 Jan 2015, 14:16:54 UTC

Good post Simonator, thank you. And if I may I will just once more, for the last time (promise, honest injun!) make a comment about student fees.

The Lib Dem manifesto said that they would not raise student fees. But we went into coalition with a bigger party. But that isn't the point.

When the Coalition took over in 2010 they found that they had been lied to across a number of issues i.e. new Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Laws revealed his predecessor left him a note reading: "I'm afraid there is no money". They also found that there were plans well advanced to remove funding from FE Colleges to support Uni students.

They knew that because of the situation in the state education system, far too many kids were falling out of school at age 16 with no qualifications, not just unemployed, but unemployable. The only second chance that they has was a course at an FE College. If that wasn't available then the benefits budget would soar so would petty crime, with a whole generation of disadvantaged teenagers. They had the guts to take the unenviable decision to put the country before the party, and they have suffered greatly for it.

But in most cases it is the students complaining, not the the parents that mostly pay those fees!! Work that one out ...
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Message 1633548 - Posted: 27 Jan 2015, 14:32:49 UTC

Parent's paying the fees? Not in my experience.

My four year BSc (i did a foundation year) left me with ~£20k of debt. That's tuition fees, maintenance loan, other misc borrowings.

A student entering today will end up lumbered with £27k of debt after three years just from tuition fees, when you add the rising cost of living etc into the equation they could up up over £40k in debt, or roughly double mine. Which they'll have to pay back over 30 years, not the 20 that mine expires after.

By saddling these young adults which such high levels of debt early in their lives, it risks creating habitual debtors, who'll never quite grasp the concept of living within their means because they've never been in credit.

If i wanted to pick a hate figure for tuition fees, it would be David Blunkett, the rot set in when he first introduced them in 1998.
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Message 1633550 - Posted: 27 Jan 2015, 14:41:26 UTC

Then as now, nobody wants to see a majority Tory Government,


No of course not, not even the 10,706,647 who voted Conservative in 2010

They all voted Conservative so there would be a coalition .

Please less of the sweeping generalisations.

It might be better to suggest based on the last election.

Given that there was a 65.1% turnout with 29,653,638 votes cast.

you could say 18,946,991 people don't want a Conservative government.

Roughly two thirds of the people who voted.

I would suspect that quite a lot of the 10,706,647 who voted Conservative might well do so again, but quite a few will be hoping against hope not to be in a coalition again.
"Proud to be born and bred in Croydon"
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Message 1633552 - Posted: 27 Jan 2015, 14:44:56 UTC

FE Colleges need to be supported as do Uni student fees, budgets need to be manipulated to achieve both aims. Of course it means cuts somewhere else but we have to invest in our country's future, even if it means more taxes.

Student fees are too high, they have to come down, no argument about that, but we also need those FE Colleges that support the not so academically gifted as well.
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Message 1633563 - Posted: 27 Jan 2015, 15:35:14 UTC
Last modified: 27 Jan 2015, 15:38:28 UTC

Please less of the sweeping generalisations.

Mr Vine. Sigh. May I ask how many doorsteps you have canvassed in the last month asking for peoples opinions and possible voting intentions in May, and what their main concerns and worries are? I have, and at night in the cold and the dark. I care about the future of my country, enough to get out there and want to try to do something about influencing it. So I don't make generalisations, I have hard facts gained on the street.
    People don't want a majority Tory Government
    People don't want a majority Labour Government
    People think the Lib Dems have let them down
    Many people say they just won't vote

But that is just in my area, I accept that.

The figures that you quote are well representative of most General elections. Traditionally the UK has a 60% turnout for a general election, and about 20-25% for a local one. Therefore with a hung parliament as in 2010, 1/3 of the country couldn't be bothered to vote, 1/3 were happy their party won, 1/3 were pissed off their party didn't win. You can't run a country with effectively 2/3 of the population disaffected.

Exactly the same problem that America has with a 2 party system and a 60% turnout, no wonder both countries have so many unhappy people.

I know the town that you live in, at present you have a Labour controlled Council and two Tory Mp's and one Labour one. Both Tories are looking vulnerable which is surprising in traditionally a Tory area. My own MP is also having to fight hard as well. There could well be a few upsets in May.

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Message 1633566 - Posted: 27 Jan 2015, 15:41:34 UTC

I'd discount the opinion of anyone who CBA to vote.
So with that third removed, half were happy and half weren't, those odds sound better.
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Message 1633571 - Posted: 27 Jan 2015, 15:48:49 UTC

Mr Vine. Sigh. May I ask how many doorsteps you have canvassed in the last month asking for peoples opinions and possible voting intentions in May, and what their main concerns and worries are? I have, and at night in the cold and the dark. I care about the future of my country, enough to get out there and want to try to do something about influencing it. So I don't make generalisations, I have hard facts gained on the street.


Ah and people aren't likely to tell doorstep canvassers what they think they want to hear?

You said "nobody wants to see a majority Tory Government" now it's "people"

Remember "nobody" means everyone who has a vote.

Sorry but I believe a lot of "people" will be voting Conservative or Labour hoping for a majority. Now whether they will be disappointed we will have to wait and see.
"Proud to be born and bred in Croydon"
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Message 1633595 - Posted: 27 Jan 2015, 16:21:14 UTC

Oh Lord, an even bigger sigh ....

Ah and people aren't likely to tell doorstep canvassers what they think they want to hear?

And you think that any canvasser of any party doesn't know that?

OK, seeing as you seem intent on spitting hairs, let's do that and keep you happy shall we.

Nobody = people = persons = residents = possible voters. OK?

Every political Party has access to the voters lists which are in the public domain at all Town Halls. Every party has their own database of potential voters

Soft supporters
Hard supporters
Possible supporters
Undecided

Any canvasser of any party knows before they knock on any door whether who answers it is a soft/hard Tory, a soft/hard Labour, a Lib Dem, a Green, UKIP, or undecided. That info has been gained from multiple local and national elections over many years, and many other opinion polls and data. If you thought any different then you are naive.

Of course a hard Labour "person" will tell a Tory canvasser that they will vote for them, and vice versa. Don't you think that they know that, and that it is taken into account?
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Message 1634032 - Posted: 28 Jan 2015, 11:47:03 UTC

A couple of points here which I hope will be useful.

At every election whether it is a local or a national one you will see "Tellers" outside each polling station, usually one from each of the three main parties. Their job is to request voters to give them the polling number on their voters card. The reason for this is that later in the day each party can look up their list of known supporters and see which have not yet voted. They can then go and see them and offer to give them a lift and back to the polling station. It also means that you won't get a call later asking if you want to vote!

It does NOT tell anyone WHAT you have voted, it only tells them that you HAVE voted. Whatever you vote is private to you and is never disclosed to anyone. The rules concerning Tellers are very strict in that you must not be in direct line of sight of any of the polling booths, and you can't encourage any voter to vote for your party in any way. In some cases this means sitting outside in the rain!

When the sealed boxes are later taken for counting at the Town Hall, the counters must be totally independent and cannot be a Member of any political party. People like me that are, can apply to the Returning Officer to be accredited "observers" at the count to check on the counting. At 3am in the morning and a 2nd recount mistakes can be made, and in a close fight a handful of votes can be crucial.
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Message 1634045 - Posted: 28 Jan 2015, 12:16:41 UTC

Whatever you vote is private to you and is never disclosed to anyone.

Seems you don't really need to as you already have a good idea

Any canvasser of any party knows before they knock on any door whether who answers it is a soft/hard Tory, a soft/hard Labour, a Lib Dem, a Green, UKIP, or undecided. That info has been gained from multiple local and national elections over many years, and many other opinion polls and data. If you thought any different then you are naive.


And please treat me with a little more respect.

Mr Vine. Sigh


Oh Lord, an even bigger sigh ....


I know that as you are involved with a political party you believe that you know better than others here when it comes to politics.

However I find your attitude to be condescending in the extreme.

I was just pointing out that in your original statement you used "absolute" language to express an "opinion". Like many politicians do. Please rejoin the real world and realise there are in fact millions of people in the country praying for a Conservative victory, the same as there are millions of Labour supports hoping they will be successful, most of them will also be hoping that there is no coalition. I agree that there are also millions of people hoping neither of the major parties has a majority, but please lets stick to reality.
"Proud to be born and bred in Croydon"
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Message 1634092 - Posted: 28 Jan 2015, 14:51:49 UTC - in response to Message 1634045.  

Would a do nothing parliament be the best result? From the do nothing congress country.
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Message 1634130 - Posted: 28 Jan 2015, 16:59:34 UTC

Whatever you vote is private to you and is never disclosed to anyone.

Seems you don't really need to as you already have a good idea

Any experienced canvasser can ask a couple of carefully worded leading questions that will give them a fairly good idea of the voting intentions. That compared with stated past intentions can give an indication of whether a previous allegiance to a particular party is likely to be the same, stronger, or weaker. I am just beginning to learn the ropes, and a lot more to learn yet.

you believe that you know better than others here when it comes to politics.

I think that I have extra knowledge of how local and national politics actually work in practice, in the UK at least, than some do, yes. I would like to learn more about USA politics because like the UK, they also have a basic two party system and a similar 60% turnout, but they run things differently. Maybe our two countries can learn from each other.

However I find your attitude to be condescending in the extreme.

You are entitled to your opinion. However just because you don't like me personally is not a good enough reason to try to pick a fight with me on the forums.

Sticking with reality

Opinion Poll 1

Opinion Poll 2

Opinion Poll 3

What is fairly clear on the doorstep is that public opinion is equally divided. Voters en masse don't trust either of the two main parties to run the country with a free hand. Labour supporters will fight for a majority Labour government and dread the thought of a majority Tory one, and vice versa for the Tory voters. Others just won't vote for either, each as bad as each other etc. That is why we had a hung parliament in 2010. The nation was divided.

Most pundits appear to be predicting another hung Parliament with no one party in overall control. So it looks like we will be stuck with a minority Government of one of the two big parties, and a possible second General Election this year, or another coalition which most people don't seem to want.

All still to play for.
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Message 1634959 - Posted: 30 Jan 2015, 10:23:40 UTC
Last modified: 30 Jan 2015, 10:25:46 UTC

The immigrant vote is to be ignored at ones peril.

Two seats will be contested at the General Election where the majority of voters were born overseas. A record four million people born abroad will be able to vote in May after a decade of mass immigration, a study predicted yesterday. The figure – up 500,000 since the last election – represents one-tenth of the electorate.

In 10 areas outside the capital at least a quarter of voters are foreign born, according to the study. Such voters will make up a third of the electorate in another 25 seats, and at least a quarter in a further 50 constituencies, according to experts at Manchester University. Their report says those born abroad are likely to hold the balance of power in 20 key constituencies – including 12 Labour marginals, six Tory seats and two held by the Lib Dems.

Large numbers arrived when New Labour was operating an ‘open-door’ immigration policy – a strategy designed, according to Labour adviser Andrew Neather, to ‘rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date’. Under arcane rules, citizens of 54 independent sovereign states can register on the electoral roll as long as they have an address in Britain. In many cases, the arrangements are not reciprocal. Britons are not allowed to vote in Canada, Australia or the three most populous countries in the Commonwealth – India, Pakistan and Nigeria.

In 2008, a report commissioned by the then prime minister Gordon Brown called for changes in the rules to prevent Commonwealth nationals without UK citizenship from voting in general elections. The report was never acted upon by the Labour Government – nor has the issue been addressed by the Coalition. MigrationWatch has suggested that ‘one possible reason’ why Labour ignored the report was that minority voters are more likely to support the party.

Sorry it's the Mail.
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Message 1637943 - Posted: 5 Feb 2015, 22:47:00 UTC

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Message 1638118 - Posted: 6 Feb 2015, 10:24:17 UTC

The Lib Dems are generally unpopular at present so of course the Leaders seat is not surprisingly being heavily targetted, as are also a number of other senior LD MP's. He will have a fight on his hands, he knows that.

I would rather have a Tory government than a Labour one, that is a simple no contest to me. Can anyone seriously consider Milliband as an International Statesman, meeting world leaders at the White House, and representing Britain? Ballsy as Chancellor? He's an amiable buffoon! His missus as Home Secretary? I really don't think so!

But I would still prefer to see a coalition with the Lib Dems shielding the public from either of the main parties excesses. I've voted Tory all my life until 2008 when I realised that buggins turn politics is simply not in the country's best interests. The Lib Dems have a role to play in government, that is clear, but they need to seriously up their game, sort out their PR, and probably in time find a new leader.
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Message 1638129 - Posted: 6 Feb 2015, 10:54:45 UTC - in response to Message 1638118.  

Nice to see you're finally waking up. The lib-Dems have some damned good policies as well as some good MP's, unfortunately they're let down by the biggest fool ever to lead a party.

You'd much prefer a Tory government? With Cameron finished, you'd prefer Teresa May then than Labour in charge?

Seriously, where's the difference in any of the current crop?

The days of Winnie & Maggie will never come again, not in our lifetimes anyway.

As for a second coalition? You may be correct in that it will be needed. Unfortunately, Clegg has done too much damage & even though you've already stated that previous locals were just a wake up call, come May, be prepared for a disturbing shock.

Personally I won't be surprised to see a second election needed & the results similar to the first & we'll get a coalition, but not one the country needs - Labour/Tory
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Message 1638525 - Posted: 7 Feb 2015, 9:51:50 UTC

88 days to go

Winston and Maggie were a product of their times, WWII then the Miners and the Falklands. Cometh the hour, cometh the man as they say.

I would prefer May than Milliband yes. The previous locals were traditional wake up calls, depends whether any notice was taken of them.

If we have a minority Tory or Labour Government, then it is most likely that we will have another general election in the Autumn, as the Opposition can call for a motion of no confidence in the government thereby forcing one. The politicians don't want that, neither do the people. Therfore with as predicted, another hung parliament, the pressure will be on to form a coalition. But this time I would predict three or even four partners in one.

Then again some smart people are betting on what is known as a Confidence & Supply arrangement. Option

Still too close to call and all to play for.
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Message 1638593 - Posted: 7 Feb 2015, 16:11:16 UTC - in response to Message 1638525.  

88 days to go

Winston and Maggie were a product of their times, WWII then the Miners and the Falklands. Cometh the hour, cometh the man as they say.

I would prefer May than Milliband yes. The previous locals were traditional wake up calls, depends whether any notice was taken of them.

If we have a minority Tory or Labour Government, then it is most likely that we will have another general election in the Autumn, as the Opposition can call for a motion of no confidence in the government thereby forcing one. The politicians don't want that, neither do the people. Therfore with as predicted, another hung parliament, the pressure will be on to form a coalition. But this time I would predict three or even four partners in one.

Then again some smart people are betting on what is known as a Confidence & Supply arrangement. Option

Still too close to call and all to play for.

Smart people? Don't you mean those who don't want change & want the status quo to remain as it is!

Looking good for 2015, but this highlights just why people enter politics...

Ain't that a shame :-)

"confidence and supply is a parliamentary land flowing with milk and honey, where all of the angst of full-blown coalition is banished, but, somehow, all the advantages remain.

Next time, with (more than likely) fewer Lib Dems, (probably) more SNP MPs and (maybe) a significant UKIP presence and (perhaps) a couple of Greens there could be a range of possible governing combinations, but more than two parties would probably be required.

Another problem is that if the Lib Dems are reduced to 30 or so MPs, or maybe fewer, they don't really have the numbers to sustain a full-on coalition."

Keeping Cleggie as leader & that's a definite!


Keep up with the times, there's a good chap, otherwise you'll be left behind (well, the Lib-Dems are finished anyway, as for the smaller parties, they won't get enough seats so that leaves...)
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