Thursday, May 06, 2010

Britain goes to the polls

Today is election day across the United Kingdom. For excellent coverage, see the BBC here. A party must hold 326 seats or more to have a majority. The current situation is the following:

Conservatives: 210 (winning 33.2% of the vote)
Labour: 349 (winning 36.1%)
Liberal Democrats: 62 (winning 22.6%)
Other parties: 29 (winning 8%)

My prediction is that the Conservatives will make big gains, but not big enough to win an overall majority. Part of the reason for this is that I expect the Liberal Democrats to make significant enough gains.

I predict:

Conservatives - 35% and 278 seats
Labour - 28% and 263 seats
Liberal Democrats - 27% and 80 seats
Other parties - 10% and 29 seats

This would result in a hung parliament with no one party with a majority. Some predict the Conservatives will forge ahead with a minority government. I think it is far more likely there will be a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition which together would have a clear majority. It will be forged on conditions of (a) Gordon Brown stepping down as PM, (b) electoral reform - including a move towards proportional representation, and (c) Labour wanting to remain in government.

End prediction: Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition

For local interest, I suspect that Wendy Morton (Con) will become the new Tynemouth MP, replacing Alan Campbell (Lab).

This has been a close and even surprising election campaign. I will post results when available.

UPDATE: My thanks as ever to Brian Leiter for noting this post on his Leiter Reports. No, I lack predictions on philosophers running in the election. Of course, Brian would have my vote if he ran!

UPDATE 2: How well did I do? About 1% off. Full details here.

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