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The biggest thing the Conservatives have going for them is "Change" - time for a change is often a winner.

It's only just over a year since the last election and its probably 2 to 3 years before the next. Most of the people who voted Labour a few months ago aren't yet ready to change so I'd expect the Labour ratings to hold between 30%-36% for a bit longer but as long as the Conservatives continue to position themselves as a safe choice I think we may well see Labour falling into the 25%-30% box by 2008. Brown is too closely associated with the last 9 years to really be a new face - Johnson could do better but any alternative Labour leader would face Gordon on the backbenches and if we thought Ted Heath was grumpy imagine a GB who had the prize taken away.

The LibDems have moved right to protect their Southern seats (they will present a different face in Scotland to try to get the most out of the anti-Labour movement there - but what's new about the LDs presenting two faces?). I think they will stand around 20% but hopefully they will lose many of their 2001 & 2005 gains,

So with LDs at 20%, Labour at 30% and others at 10% the Conservatives should achieve around 40%. Probably enough to just gain a majority or to be very close.

Considering the informed view after 2005 was that it would take two elections if the Tories were to ever form a Government again I think DC has taken us further forward than we would have thought 12 months ago. I still feel its unlikely we will take an absolute majority (but we might just make it with DUP support).

I would rather the party was in permanent opposition than do business with the bigots of the DUP.

Wasn't thinking of a coalition but that DUP might vote for minority Tory administration rather than Brown led Labour/Lib Dem one.

Wasn't thinking of a coalition but that DUP might vote for minority Tory administration rather than Brown led Labour/Lib Dem one.
As with other parties, if either the Conservative Party or Labour, or (unlikely) Liberal Democrats want other parties to vote for their measures then they will have to do deals, locations of factories, where contracts are sourced, location of new government offices, concessions on allocation of seats on committees, consideration when deciding constitutional matters and the SDLP\PC\SDLP\Independents\Respect will all expect such deals in exchange for votes and some may well decide to vote against something they support because of some other line that the government has taken - this happened to Labour when because Labour had not granted similar Anti-Terrorist provisions in the 6 counties the DUP voted against extending detention without charge to 90 days and it was close enough that with 10 MP's they had a major effect on a close outcome.

Mid Term opinion Polls showing the government on everything down to Stygian levels of support are far from unknown and usually exagerate the actual position, but actually if true about 32.8% actually is not much different than Labour got in 2005, over the next 10 years they are likely to regain a lot of support and some seats lost to Liberal Democrats, Respect, Independents - in addition the Liberal Democrats will lose support to the Conservative Party, I think in 2009 Labour on about 12 million votes, Conservatives on about 10.5 million votes and Liberal Democrats on 4 million votes and UKIP on about 1 million votes, about 2.5 million for other parties - Liberal Democrats being propped up by Tactical Voting but Labour roughly holding it's majority and the Conservatives ending up with about 25 to 35 seats extra (including Boundary Changes), the Conservatives will make further gains in 2014 and maybe overhaul Labour in total vote in 2019 and then sweep into power in 2023 or 2024 although by then probably Ed Balls will be Labour leader and perhaps Priti Patel (or who knows Nigel Farage even) with the Conservative Party having adopted Euro-Realism and Labour will implode in factional rivalries and be out of power for decades - maybe even for the rest of the century.

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