Tuesday 2 February 2010

12 seats short

It is getting worse for the English Tories and their power project. Today's poll results show that their lead has shrunk even further, giving them a predicted shortfall of 12 seats in the upcoming Westminster parliament elections.

Of course, all of these polls are mere estimates, and contain assumptions that limit their accuracy. So a figure of 12, even if the election was held today, could be wildly wrong in either direction.

But the trend is important. And the trend shows that the Tories assumption of being swept into power with a commanding majority may turn to dust.

Of interest in Northern Ireland, of course, is that little figure – 12 seats. Because it is more seats than unionism, even if united, can safely deliver to the Tories. Unionists currently hold 10 seats, but nine of these are DUP-held, and the other is Sylvia Hermon. Unionists hope to snatch back South Belfast and Fermanagh and South Tyrone, but unless they manage to agree some kind of pact soon, these seats may remain in nationalist hands. Worse, other seats may be lost – North Antrim to Jim Allister, North Belfast, on a particularly bad day even East Belfast! And Sylvia Hermon might be returned, even more determined to oppose the Tories. In a worst case scenario the Tories and their UUP allies may get no Northern Irish seats, and even the DUP may drop from 9 to 6 seats (if Allister wins North Antrim, Dodds loses North Belfast, and Gregory Campbell finally joins the TUV).

There are still three months to go until the expected date of the election (May 6), so much can yet change – but for the Tories the trend at present is in the wrong direction, and they are receiving no help from their friends in Northern Ireland.


Tom Griffin said...

Gordon Brown is supposed to be annnouncing a plan to bring in the alternative vote for Westminster today. I wonder how that would shake things up?

hoboroad said...

DUP dealing with internal rifts.Gregory Campbell is making himself unpopular with his fellow party members with his media appearances.Nigel Dodds feels he is getting too much blame for the absence of a deal.

hoboroad said...

14 DUP MLA's voted against the deal on policing in a secret ballot yesterday.

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