Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, March 20, 2015

How did that happen?

Go back and review the televised debates between party leaders in 2010. Look at Nick Clegg's reviews.

To survive as a party of government, the Lib Dems must hold south-west England. They probably won’t
No party emerged from the 2010 election with a majority, so the largest, the Conservatives, had to form a coalition with the third-largest, the centrist Liberal Democrats. The result of the general election on May 7th could be even more finely balanced. The Tories and the Labour Party are neck-and-neck in polls. The Liberal Democrats have been badly burned by the compromises they have had to make as a junior coalition partner: after winning 23% of the overall vote in 2010, the party reached a new low of 5% in a YouGov poll published on March 3rd…

The Lib Dems are bracing themselves for the loss of many of their 56 seats in the House of Commons. The party’s footholds in the north of England and Scotland will probably crumble, so unpopular is its deal with the Conservatives in those left-leaning parts. But it is fighting hard in southern England, knowing there is a big difference between holding on to, say, 30 seats and salvaging half that number. The more seats the party holds, the more useful it is as a coalition partner for Labour or the Tories.

Its fate will be decided largely among the rolling hills of south-west England…

Campaigns defined by local politics will probably return Lib Dem MPs. Those defined by the choice between a Tory-led government and a Labour-led one will probably see the Conservatives prevail…

The Tories’… task is to convince voters that the battle is not entirely parochial, but is also about the government of Britain. David Cameron, much the most popular of the party leaders, will tour the region in the run-up to the election…

The Liberal Democrats are confident that they can hang on in the south-west nonetheless. Britain’s first-past-the-post electoral system has long punished them for having geographically dispersed voters. But their popularity has fallen disproportionately in seats they did not win in 2010, so their support—though much smaller—is now more efficiently distributed…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed. Use the search box to look for country names or concept labels attached to each entry.

Just The Facts! is a concise guide to concepts, terminology, and examples that will appear on May's exam.

It's available HERE.

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