We're in for a spot of Parliamentary tennis over the next few years.
I believe that the evidence is crystal clear; the New Labour project has crashed and burned. We've had a decade of nothing but spin and parsimonious and controlling legislation. Legislation that cannot effect real change as we are so closely tied to the EU, so just serves to make our lives as difficult as possible with no real end beyond control itself. A decade of personality over policy, of shameless troughing with squeals of rage when they are shown up to be doing it. A decade of cronyism and incompetence, where attempts are made in the party HQ to rig the election of a PPC who is the daughter of a mate. A decade of treating people, even their own members, with contempt, as vassals to do their bidding whether it is what they want or not.
I was never a Labour supporter, but I could weep for the people who have found the party that represented their beliefs (the fact I disagree with those beliefs is irrelevant) has been swept away from underneath them. So desperate were the 'elite' in the Labour party that holding power meant more to them than what the party actually stood for.
The New Labour project has failed so massively that they could find the next election very uncomfortable indeed. I for one will not be voting for them.
But I will be voting for something. I will be voting for the Libertarian Party, if I cannot for the lack of a candidate, I will vote for an independent who actually believes in something strongly enough to put themselves forward. Someone that wants to be in Parliament to make a change, not someone that wants to be in Parliament to be in Parliament.
I think it is important to vote for something though. Don't vote against things. Don't vote Conservative, LimpDem, PC, SNP, Green, UKIP, BNP, Mebyon Kernow or whatever just because they are not the Labour Party. Vote for one of those parties because they best represent what you want and what you believe.
If the Tories get in with a decent majority, and I believe they will, will it be because people believe in what they have to say, or is it to do with the fact that they ain't the other guy? Can David Cameron really stand up on the morning after election day and talk about a mandate from the people? From where I stand his policies are so similar to Labour's it isn't true. Both parties offer toast and jam, it's just that one is strawberry jam and the other is blackcurrant.
There'll be a honeymoon period. It'll be all smiles and renewed energy, change we can believe in, and then after a year or so, people will realise that they've voted for the same again and the howls of frustration and resentment will start to be heard once more. Unless there are major changes, a Tory government is likely to be a one term gig. Perhaps having bounced back to Labour, and maybe even again to the Tories, people may realise that they have to break the cycle if they want things to change.
I'm not going to tell you who to vote for in the election next year, or the Europeans this year, but I will tell you what to vote for:
Vote for what you want, not against what you don't.