… when The Guardian starts to put the phrase ‘Lib Dems’ on the front page day after day. I expect it could be proved that this happens, but I am ready to be disabused. I have voted for them before now, but I’ve never lived in a marginal Labour seat before, and, with luck, I will be registered in time.
One thing that newspapers get into a desperate lather about is hung parliaments, and always with increasing frenzy as a general election approaches. (There was one, sort of, in 1974, in the first election of that year. But only in 1923 was there really a proper three-way split.) This is because a hung parliament gives a political journalist an almost infinite amount of comment space in which to speculate. If there was a proportional voting system offered to political journalists, they would vote en masse for any system which ensured a dead heat, and they would vote using the first-past-the-post system.
I think we can fairly sum up the situation as follows:
a) No-one wants to vote Labour, except those who don’t want to vote Conservative
b) No-one wants to vote Conservative, except those who feel that a change is as good as a respite
c) No-one wants to vote Lib Dem, except where there is a Lib Dem MP
d) No-one wants to vote Green, except in Brighton
e) No-one wants to vote UKIP, except for nutcases
f) No-one wants to vote BNP except for racists and nutcases, which means that the latter are in a bit of turmoil
g) Commander Bill Boakes and Screaming Lord Sutch are both dead
h) Esther Rantzen wants to vote for Esther Rantzen
I am not an expert on Welsh or Scots politics, so I will leave well alone.
Quite honestly, I think that this election would be one which people would happily settle by text-vote, or by the Deal Or No Deal principle of boxes sealed by an independent adjudicator aka the Returning Officer. I think this might be a good idea, too, although I would replace Noel Edmonds with Michael Barrymore, both on the show, as well as on Election Night.
Forecast: a dead heat, and excitement all round. My money is on Box 13 (‘Take the money!’). Oh dear, showing my age.