'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Monday 24 March 2014

All Parties can be as radical as they like in their 2015 manifestos. The mad stuff won't get done anyway.

A bevy of think tanks has written to the Guardian today encouraging Ed Miliband to be more radical in the writing of the coming election manifesto. A right wing thinker (Simon Jenkins) in that same newspaper has suggested that would be madness, if Ed wants to win.

I'm not sure it makes all that much difference either way.

Because both of these arguments suggest that people will vote according to the policies and the manifestos of the parties standing. And in 2015 I suspect this will be less true than ever.

The current polling - especially with the coming together of the polls - and the boundaries set out as they are, still indicate a coalition government is the likeliest outcome next year. Or in other words - no winner.

In those circumstances, parties deliver, not their own programme of government, but a jointly agreed coalition of policies - in the last election negotiated in 3 hurried days largely over a weekend.

This therefore suggests that whoever you vote for, you are less likely to end up with the government legislative agenda you voted for. So how do you decide where to put your cross?

Well for many people (as we know) it will be tradition - the political tribe they were born into.

For others it will be broad principle - Fairer society (Labour), stronger economy (Tory), both (Lib Dems) or um, neither (UKIP)

But for many many others it all be personality based. Sure they vote for an MP - but they also have in their minds that they are voting for a Prime Minister. And I suspect personality will count for a lot more in 2015 than policies as a result.

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