Published on 30 Oct 2013

How David Cameron can win a majority in 2016

Yes, you read the headline correctly. 2016. Even though the next General Election is a year before, in 2015.

Most political experts think the outcome of that election is incredibly hard to predict. The legendary¬†psephologist Sir David Butler, who has been analysing elections since 1945, told me last week that he thought the 2015 poll was one of the hardest to forecast that he’d ever known.

Many observers think it is quite likely that the Conservatives may well win the most votes, but still not get enough seats to form a majority Government on their own. Indeed many believe a result similar to 2010 is quite likely – with David Cameron perhaps 20 seats short of a majority, though with the Lib Dems winning fewer seats and Labour rather more.


That would probably mean another Con-Lib Coalition, but perhaps only for a few months. Eight months before the May 2015 General Election, we’ll have the referendum on whether Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom. Polls at the moment suggest independence will be rejected, but the SNP leader Alex Salmond is a brilliant campaigner and could still achieve a Yes vote next September.

Alex Salmond hopes Scotland will leave the union very quickly after that, and is planning for a Scotland Independence Day in March 2016. Some people say that’s unrealistic and that it will take many years for Scotland to negotiate its way out of the United Kingdom and all its intricacies, and certainly Labour has good political reasons for wanting to delay the exit as long as possible.

David Cameron and the Conservatives, in contrast, might react to Yes vote very differently. Although the Tories pride themselves on being the most unionist party, they may well feel that once Scots have plumped for independence they may as well give Alex Salmond what he wants. Not least because it would mean 59 fewer MPs at Westminister, only one of whom is a Conservative. Suddenly, Labour and the other parties would lose 58 seats, but the Tories their solitary one.

From being 20 votes short of a Parliamentary majority, David Cameron would instantly find himself with a majority of about 20, free of the shakles of living with the Liberal Democrats. One can’t help feeling that, despite their strong unionist position publicly, privately some Conservatives might not be too distressed if Scotland was to leave the United Kingdom. Not least because it would make it a lot harder for Labour to win a Westminster majority ever gain.

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7 reader comments

  1. Henry Sloan says:

    Michael, apart from 2010, can you tell me of any general election since WW II taking Scottish votes out of the equation at Westminster would have changed the outcome? Go on, there’s a cream bun in it for you if you get the right number with figures. {Hint – there’s been exactly two out of eighteen since WW II.}

    1. Guy Latham says:

      That doesn’t mean that it will never happen in the future. You basically proved the author right by saying “apart from 2010”.

    2. Andrew Dundas says:

      Er, weren’t those two results 1966 and 1974?

      1. Henry Sloan says:

        64 and Feb 74. In 2010, the Tories would have a majority of about 20 which, as John Major found, out can melt away very quickly. His big problem was Europe – good thing Sunny Dave doesn’t face that problem.

  2. Patrick says:

    It’s at that point then that we leave the horrid, stinking festering pit that England is becoming. Simply because of the divisive and discriminatory policies the murdering Tories have been and will introduce.

  3. Andrew Dundas says:

    Be aware! Just under a quarter of Scottish electors actually voted for the SNP in 2011. Most folks stayed away from the Poll in disgust at Holyrood and all its works.
    What will those absentee voters plump for in next year’s referendum? Nobody knows.

  4. Paul Martin-Priest says:

    Please supply me with the following information at the above address:-

    How many Westminster seats will New Labour win at the 2015 General Election with 52.8 % of the vote?

    What % would get them a final total of 602 seats in the above election?

    What % for the Conservative party would get Conservative party only 32 seats in the above election?

    What % for the Liberal Democratic party would get the Liberal Democratic party only 6 seats in the above election?

    That is all.

    Thank-you for your attention to, consideration of and time spent on this
    e-mail and for your earliest, keenest, soonest and swiftest reply.

    Yours faithfully,

    Mr. Paul A. Martin-Priest.

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