Bloody hell. Didn’t see that coming. A few ponderings…
1. What on Earth happened to the polls? Are people lying to pollsters, or was there a shift at a very late stage that wasn’t picked up?
2. The vote/seat disparity with regard to UKIP is scandalous. Regardless of whether you agree with them, millions of people voted for them and they got a single seat. The fact that 50% of Scots didn’t vote for the SNP and got 3 MPs for their trouble adds to that scandal, and falsifies the mandate of the SNP.
3. The challenges for the Lib Dems are interesting. The party has an expertise in campaigning, and a pretty solid campaigning infrastructure. It also has a significant number of constituencies where, even in the recent firestorm, there is still has a substantial vote to build on. The big task is carving out a need to vote liberal over Green or Labour.
4. It’s game on for the European referendum so. Would be funny if Cameron traps Boris by putting him in charge of coming back with the much ballyhooed new deal on the EU. Or as we call it in Ireland, “doing a Michael Collins”.
5. By the way, I’ve no doubt that only the Tories can keep Britain in the EU.
6. Finally, a prediction. All this tosh about Cameron now being master of all he surveys is just that. I’m old enough to remember John Major winning a greater majority in the unwinnable election of 1992, and the shine came off the ball within months (caused by the ERM crisis, admittedly) but the reality is that a chunk of the Tory party will never be happy with what deal comes back from Brussels, and when that happens, the fun will really begin.