Where are we now?
Just a few days ago, all talk was about coalitions, the end of single party government and the need to accommodate more and diverse voices in political discourse. Many people must be feelings like idiots now, including myself, for thinking that change could happen even with such a dysfunctional voting system as First Past The Post.
In any case what we have now is single party government. We have a weakened Labour Party which will take years, if not decades to recover in England and may never fully recover in Scotland. We have a Liberal Democrat Party that has been massacred for bring a junior partner in coalition. The country has spoken. It does not want coalition. It wants single party government and it is happy with division. It is a polarised country now. There will be a referendum on membership of the EU within 2 yrs and there may be a second referendum on Scottish Independence over the next 5-7 years. But has the country actually said this? What about the millions who voted Green and UKIP but see little representation? The system IS broken, but it may not be in the victors' interests to reform it.
In my seat the Liberal Democrats were a close second in 2010 and are now down to fifth place, not just due to an SNP surge but also due to a unionist attempt to stem that surge. Thousands of Liberal Democrat voters including party activists and members voted for Labour to keep out the SNP. In this seat they succeeded in doing so and returning Scotland's only Labour MP, Ian Murray, to whom I convey my best wishes.
There are a lot of challenges ahead for governing and non-governing parties alike, and for me the next big challenge is to find a job! I still am a dentist and it will be good to return to a practising life! Anyone out there looking for an associate?
Tony Jacobs writes: Massive thanks to Pramod for writing this series of blogs against a backdrop of political change both in Scotland and of a backlash against the Coalition's minority partner party. All at GDPUK wish him well in finding a job and settling back down again, I will make sure he keeps us informed!