The SNP’s manifesto is a pretty shameless cut and paste of labour party policy.
If your hit single was covered by your biggest rival and it was they that got the royalties when it went to #1, you’d be pretty sick. If you lost your job as a result, you’d be sicker still.
So my heart goes out to my buddy Gregg McClymont whose policies on greater transparency in pensions are now being touted by the SNP as if they had a clue about what they are talking about.
The Tory party are now bigging up the SNP as Milliband’s puppeteers while pre-populating the House of Lords with a putative peer to lend their department of pensions irresponsibility some semblance of credibility. This is pretty flakey stuff.
Fortunately the Liberals are doing quite well , their support is now in double digit percentages, enough to get them back over 30 seats. Coral have cut the odds of them being part of a coalition from 2-1 to 5-4 making them the favourite to be in power (oddly more likely than either Tories or Labour, for whom opposition of Government are binary positions). Riding two horses in the same race is something that Clegg and Co are pretty good at!
Which is some consolation for those looking for a sensible pension policy going forward. If we have to assume a Gregg-less Labour Party and a clueless Tory party (at least on pensions), my guess is that we are on course for five more years of the sardonic Mr Webb.
In this new world order, the Liberals become a party of free-thinking, a moderator of ideological positions and a confounder of nonsensical policies. Which is precisely why I am a Liberal.
In such an evenly run race – with neither Labour or Conservative looking to have a finishing sprint in them, a dead heat looks a likely outcome. In such a scenario, there are only two kingmakers- they are the SNP and the Liberals.
UKIP is still the party of second place and will have little representation in the Commons, the Greens and Plaed Cymru will carry some collective weight for the SNP, the DUP look aligned to a Tory/Liberal coalition.
In this two horse race, it is the horse stable in #10 that is conventionally the likely winner. It is the incumbent governing party and Prime Minister which is offered first dibs at forming a new Government so this favours Cameron- should the Tories not get an overall majority.
The bookies have no overall majority at 1/8 (that’s 8-1 odds on!) with a Labour overall majority available at 22-1 and a Tory majority at 15/2.
Any sensible person must anticipate a coalition, I suspect that the only thing keeping the odds on a majority Government as low as they are is the conviction of the party faithfulls.
So this two horse race is really about the riders and trainers. As Cameron likes to point out, the Labour Donkey will be ridden by Milliband but trained by Nicola Sturgeon. But the Tory Donkey may be ridden by Cameron but trained by Nick Clegg!
In horse racing, it is quite common for riders to be “jocked off” if they can’t get their nags past the finishing post in front. This however looks unlikely at this election . The bookies have Milliband the slight favourite to be prime minister from Cameron but it’s 20-1 against these two being elected.
Milliband’s favouritism must be based on the momentum gathering behind Sturgeon and her vision for an austerity-free Britain (something that Labour have failed to visualise).
With the SNP now as low as 6-1 to win all 59 seats in Scotland, Labour in a kilt has (unexpectedly) become a political possibility. My gut says that in such a scenario, what would be best for Britain would be an arrangement that brought the Liberals into a tri-partite pact.
If you are interested in this idle speculation, check out the excellent odds-checker which gives all these perms and a whole lot more.