Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Michael Portillo And Unsafe Seats

The Guardian has an article on what a swing to the Conservatives would cost Labour. Just a uniform swing of 5.5% would lose front bencher's; Jacqui Smith, Michael Wills and Tony McNulty their seats. Given Smith is so synonymous with NuLabour, could she come to represent Labours fall from power as Portillo did for the Conservatives?

Perhaps this will be a different situation from Tony Blair's landslide in 1997, people will look on as the sound of “things can only get better” rings in their ears. We've been there and got the T-shirt, leaving us just sceptical about promises and change.

Is there something we can learn from this though? I can't think of one Prime Minster that has walked out of Downing Street with their head held high after three terms in power, nor can I think of one political party either. Do the Americans have the right idea, legislate that no political leader can serve more than two terms in office? The likelihood of a politician suggesting that to parliament though is very remote.

My Father says “politicians are like nappies, change them regularly they won't cause a stink”. Perhaps he has a valued point there, if more people voted tactically to create marginal rather than safe seats, we could change them with more ease. The difference between* the two main parties is a lot smaller than it used to be, is it time to place accountably over and above ideology.

*You can also take a test on that website to see where you stand politically.

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