Happily, the pollsters were all wrong, and the Socialists are not going to get into 10 Downing Street after all. That is a huge relief to many of us. Instead, there will be dozens of Scottish Nationalists sitting on the opposition benches, who will no doubt be making a lot of loud but irrelevant Scottish noises over the next few years.
Given that the previous leaders of the Scottish Nationalist party have been called Salmon and Sturgeon, I looked at the list of them to see if there were any more in the new crop, called Morag Pike or Hamish Whiting, or any such. It seems not. There is, however a Stewart McDonald (Glasgow South) and a Stuart McDonald (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East). That could get confusing.
It is hard not to feel some sympathy for Nigel Farage. He presented himself really rather well during the campaign, and it is good to see someone in politics who had a job in real life before becoming a full-time politician. His party, UKIP, obtained 3,881,129 votes for just one seat in Parliament. By contrast, the SNP only needed 25,972 votes per seat. Put another way, it took 150 UKIP voters to achieve the impact of just one SNP voter. If the seats had been allocated pro rata, UKIP would have had 82 seats and the SNP would have had 31. This is not to suggest, of course, that a pro rata system would be a good idea, for it would have led in this election, as in most elections, to a hung parliament, and hung parliaments tend to lead to small, often rather mad, minorities holding a sensible governments to ransom. But it might not be a bad idea if the House of Lords was made to be somewhat more representative of the popular vote. It hardly seems fair that what is the 3rd most popular political party in the country – by quite a big margin – gets virtually no representation in Parliament.
At the very least, it would seem fair to offer Nigel Farage a peerage.
|Votes||Seats||Votes per seat||Pro rata|