This Is Not A
All Over Bar The Posturing
Well, thank fuck that's over with.
It has been the most bizarre election campaign I can remember (and my clear memories of Westminster elections go back to February 1974).
What was touted from the outset as the Triumphal Progress of the Empress Theresa gradually transformed into St. Theresa of the Little Contact going around in the electoral equivalent of a Triumph Herald (a car, fellow oldsters will recall, with a notably small turning circle); Jeremy Corbyn, whom most of the ranks of the self-satisfied punditocracy agreed was in for a regal old shoeing, has led his party to the verge of parity in vote share if in nothing else (although it should be borne in mind that the opinion polls have been all over the place in the last week or so); the LibDem 'revival' has scarcely got them out of the High Dependency Unit, and they seem unlikely to make inroads into the Brexit-fanatical south-west of England and Cornwall where they were formally dominant; UKIP's vote has crumbled into Farage's fag ash as the Tories have stolen their rhetoric and many of their policies; the SNP, having gained 95 per cent of Scotland's seats two years ago, are likely to lose half a dozen or so to the Tories and LibDems (but most emphatically not to Labour, whose decision to try to out-Orange the Tories has permanently sunk them); and the Greens and the self-styled 'Party of Wales' are likely to be badly hit by Labour's apparent resurgence.
That the Tories are shitting a stick over what is happening can be adduced by the amount of bumf they've been shoving through my letter-box in the last few weeks. The increasingly desperate tones employed - and the rising note of scarcely-contained hysteria just audible behind them - remind me of the sequence of missives I receive every year from those other purveyors of threat and dire prognostications for failure to Comply And Obey, TV Licensing plc. Or, alternatively, I feel like the poor, bewildered Gobnait O'Lunacy in the late Frank Kelly's hilarious re-working of The Twelve Days Of Christmas, sent increasingly beresk by the unwished-for benisons foisted upon him by the obviously-unhinged Nuala. I haven't had the opportunity to shout, "Listen, slurry head!" at our land's Boutique Boudicca (because she hasn't been allowed out to meet real people, only Tory activists, who are ipso facto as unreal as they make 'em), but I hope she realises that the thought was there.
So, as we prepare to go through the charade of thinking that what we do actually makes a real difference, it's time for me to commit to the foolish act of prediction. My past attempts at this have ended in ignominy, so I'm past caring. Setting my phazers to 'stunned' and recognising the increasing tendency of the Great British Public™ to empty an entire machine-gun magazine into its own pedal extremities, this is how I think it will pan out:
- Conservatives - 317 (-13)
- Labour - 246 (+14)
- SNP - 50 (-6)
- LibDems - 14 (+6)
- Plaid Cymru - 3 (-)
- Northern Ireland parties - 18 (-)
- Green - 1 (-)
- Speaker - 1 (1)
See you tomorrow night...