The skewed perspective of a conservative Catholic employee-side employment lawyer living in the most exciting city in the Milky Way, Las Vegas, Nevada USA, who listens to a lot of really strange music and who, for some reason, lives and dies St. Louis Cardinal baseball

5/06/2005

British elections

I followed the recent British elections. Not too closely, but from a safe distance. Like all good red-blooded American conservatives, I support Tony Blair, but I can understand that on British domestic and regional (i.e., European) issues, he's not (as they say "across the pond") my cup o' tea.

Putting aside the critical issue of who, precisely, was the Silly Party and who was the Sensible Party (the Liberal Democrats, apparently, would have been the Very Silly Party, or would that have been Sinn Fein), here's what I do not understand about the 2005 British elections that just saw Tony Blair returned to power with (New) Labour getting 356 seats (56 percent of the Parliament) on just 36 percent of the popular vote.

Labour performed disappointingly, worse than expected.
The Tories did worse than expected.
The Liberal Democrats did worse than expected.
No minor party really did anything other than the expected.

So how do you have an election in which every party, every candidate, has under-performed? Unless the consensus of the experts was that the three parties would divvy up 120 to 130 percent of the vote, and win a combined total of 740 seats in a 646-seat parliament, how is this possible? How can everyone do worse than expected? Please explain, someone, British electoral politics.
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