Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Conservative Minority Government

Polls in England are showing an increasing likelyhood that the Tories will grab a little over 300 seats.  Sound like a lot?  Well, actually, yes and no.  It is certainly short of the 326 needed to have a majority.  But, it is not so short that they couldn't form a minority government simply  because Labour and the Liberals together could not reach a majority.  Thus, it seems increasingly likely that my absolute judgement a few days ago that the Conservatives would win a majority may - I repeat - may have been a mistake. 

A minority government wouldn't last a quarter, which means another election.  That would leave policy - economic and foreign - in limbo.  If the Tories could take the 326 seats, then attitudes toward the eurozone would change and the EU can forget about closer ties. The EU response to Greece - led by the Germans - has not been wildly successful. That alone helps the Conservative position that the UK can be part of the EU but not controlled by it (or, shall we say, Germany). A full blown Conservative win will be a blow to the EU - not that it is undeserved.  Coupled with the mess that the Greeks have managed to conjure up and the potential fall of Spain and Portugal, a Conservative win might require Brussels to rethink its economic and political positions.

Still a day or two, however, to go.
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