diamond geezer

 Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Let me try to summarise the British electorate in a schematic model.

redblue

Hang on, it's not quite that simple. Try this...

red blue

That's a core group of people who always vote Labour, a core group of people who always vote Conservative, and then everybody else in the grey bit.

The grey bit's important, because it's the grey bit that decides elections. Forget the red bit and the blue bit, because no campaign ever persuades these people to change their minds. They're set in their ways. They'd vote for a monkey if you stuck the appropriate coloured rosette on it. Oh no, the outcome of any election is dependent solely on the undecideds and 'others' in the centre. Persuade enough of them over to the left and we get a Labour government, whereas if the blue magnet is stronger we get Tory rule.

Me, I'm in one of the two end sections. I always know how I'm going to vote before any election is called. The campaign has no effect on me, so instead I spend four weeks watching fascinated as the grey folk in the middle make up their minds. Bunch of impressionable ditherers, many of them, unable to choose one way or the other until swung by a reasonably good speech or a biased newspaper headline. It's the people with the shallowest convictions who decide elections, and not always for the best of reasons.

Usually enough of the grey folk move decisively to ensure that Britain gets a majority government. Usually there's enough momentum to left or to right, and the country ends up locking into red or blue for four or five years. But the system doesn't always work like that, because there are additional tempting choices in the centre. Here's a better model.

red blue
yellow

The yellow option occupies an increasingly important chunk of the political middleground. No longer are greys forced to decide between red or blue, not now there's a serious third influence to consider. Which way to jump? Decisions decisions decisions.

And there's an additional complication. In a voting system where proportional representation isn't the norm, many electors are going to choose to vote tactically. Sometimes the important thing isn't who to vote for, but who to vote against. Because in reality the red end isn't pure red, it's a group of people who'll never vote blue. Likewise the blue end isn't true blue, it's a group of people who'll never vote red. Anything to keep the other lot out, whoever the 'other lot' might be. Does that sound more familiar?

not bluenot red
not blue
not red

So in a mould-breaking election where neither extreme has the momentum, what Britain may end up with is a 'Not' parliament.

A Lib/Con coalition that's very definitely Not Red.
oppositionnot red

Or a Lab/Lib coalition that's very definitely Not Blue.
not blueopposition

And you never know, more of us may even prefer it that way.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream