I think most people today are surprised at the way the 2015 General Election has gone. Opinion poll after opinion poll said it was neck and neck. The Lib Dems actively positioned themselves for a coalition (heart of the Conservatives, brains of Labour) and we were all prepared for a coalition.
Yet as Big Ben struck 10 last night and Exit polls were revealed the nation gave collective gasp as it revealed that the Conservative Party would all but have a majority. Party members said it couldn’t be right, Nicola Sturgeon urged caution and Paddy Ashdown said he would eat his hat live on TV if it was correct.
Yet, less than 24 hours after polls closed and there is a clear Conservative majority. The leaders of three other parties have stepped down and Scotland has made its vote clear. My own constituency of Hazel Grove saw a huge swing away from the Lib Dems and onto the Conservative party. The Lib Dem candidate, Lisa Smart, fought a truly awful campaign, one that was full of negativity and out and out lies. It has backfired big time and the Conservative candidate took the seat with a majority of around 5000. A huge shock for some of us here.
My seat was due to declare at around 04:30 but it was slightly delayed. I had planned to stay awake to watch it as I expected it to be much closer, but instead I went to bed at 1:30am and woke just before 04:30 (Emma typically woke me!)
As I was refreshing twitter, waiting for the results for Hazel Grove to come in, I clicked various links and came across some scary looking cartoons created by the team at My Voucher Codes. I found them featured on a website called Superbious and they are images of what the children of coalition party leaders might look like. They are freaky to say the least!
The ‘child’ cartoon here is a mixture of the Nick Clegg (Lib Dems,) Nigel Farage (UKIP) and Natalie Bennett (Green Party). A three parent child alone is scary and anything with a UKIP interest is VERY scary to me.
For me, personally, the prospect of a Conservative Government for the next five years fills me with dread. I fear for the NHS. I fear for key public services which are already on their knees. I fear for the Education System my children may be entering (and there is a very big decision for Damian and I to make on that soon).
I fear for the choice of families to do what is right for them. To allow mothers to be at home to look after their children. I fear for the future of a country which outsources it’s childcare, a country which only values childcare that is paid for and isn’t by the mother. Further cuts to child benefit are almost inevitable and the (accelerated?) introduction of Universal Credit will hurt many. Forcing mothers back into the workforce before it is right for them and their families.
I fear for our future in the European Union, an in/out referendum has been promised and I just hope that there is a sensible debate had about Europe. It seems ridiculous to me that we should even consider that we might leave!
As scary as the images of the children of coalition leaders are, I’m not sure it’s as scary as the reality we now face with a further five years of Conservative rule.