# UK Elections

Open thread (UK election edition)

I lived in the UK during the 1992 and 2002 elections, and got most of my news from the BBC World Service during the 1997 election, so I am feeling a lot of British nostalgia today. To mark the occasion, I went to the Polk County Auditor’s office and voted early for the June 8 Democratic primary.

For live UK election coverage, try the BBC, The Guardian or The Independent.

The exit poll looks grim for Labour and the Liberal Democrats. The BBC projects Conservatives (Tories) to be just short of a majority, but Fivethirtyeight.com projects that Conservatives will get the number of seats they need. Note: in theory, a British party needs 326 seats for a majority, but in reality the number is a bit smaller. The Irish separatist party Sinn Fein usually wins a few districts in Northern Ireland, but they refuse to take their seats in the Parliament, which lowers the total number of seats filled.

I was hoping for a hung parliament with significant gains for the Liberal Democrats, but it appears that Nick Clegg’s party peaked a couple of weeks too soon. I think it was a mistake for him to say that he would try first to form a government with the Conservatives. Labour have been saying that a vote for Clegg is a vote for the Tory David Cameron as prime minister, and I suspect that caused a small swing from the Liberal Democrats back to Labour.

This thread is for anything on your mind, including your take on the British election.

UPDATE: Many analysts predicted a hung British parliament, but I don’t think anyone expected the outcome we have, in which all three major parties have reason to be very disappointed.

The Liberal Democrats seemed to be gaining so much ground in the campaign, but their popular vote share went up only 1 percent and they suffered a net loss of seats.

Labour suffered its lowest share of the vote in a long time and would be short of a majority even in coalition with LibDems.

The Conservatives failed to win an outright majority despite Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s unpopularity. In a minority government scenario, the Tories will have to implement some very unpopular economic/budget policies and then face the voters again in a year or two. I am loving listening to the BBC tv livestream.