Monthly Archives: May 2015

Nobody saw it coming!

After the surprising events of the last twenty-four hours, the UK is still reeling: the Conservatives won outright despite the polls saying that they were neck and neck with Labour, the hung Parliament we had been led to believe was a foregone conclusion never materialised, the Liberal Democrats have been crushed, Labour has suffered a terrible defeat and the SNP have enjoyed a landslide victory in Scotland …

The bbc website and the major newspapers have all had live feeds and given extensive coverage. The Guardian’s coverage proved particularly good. Of course from a teaching point of view, Cameron’s first speech after the Conservative victory provides a lot of interesting discussion material, and a comparison of the resignation speeches by Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage (all on the same webpage as Cameron’s first speech) could also be fruitful.

In addition, The Guardian posted an interesting selection of front pages from British daily newspapers this morning. It not only provides a clear overview of where the individual papers stand politically (such as The Daily Mirror “Five more damn years”, The Daily Mail “Hallelujah! Britain votes for sanity” and The Daily Telegraph “Cameron triumphs on shock election night”) but also an interesting insight into the different types of newspapers and reporting styles on offer.

Once the dust has settled, let’s see how things start shaping up.

Miliband’s pledge stone

Things are heating up in the run-up to Thursday’s election. On 3rd May Ed Miliband unveiled a 2,5 metre high stone slab carved with Labour’s election promises. The slab was quickly taken up and parodied on social media, and was dubbed #edstone on Twitter.

Miliband defended it in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme saying, “Our pledges are carved in stone. I think trust is a huge issue in this election – the difference with our pledges is they are not going to expire on 8 May. Nick Clegg went into the last election saying he’d cut tuition fees – he trebled them. David Cameron went into the last election, saying ‘no ifs no buts – net migration into the tens of thousands’ – it’s 298,000. We’re setting out promises – they don’t expire on May 8. They don’t disappear.”

Interestingly, as ITV pointed out, the pledge stone did get everyone talking and engaging with Labour’s message …

The Daily Telegraph has a put together a concise video overview of possible outcomes, outlining how many seats the Tories or Labour need to win outright and which parties will be key in forming a coalition if neither party succeeds in getting an outright majority.

As the candidates now embark on whistle-stop tours round the country to try to garner last-minute votes, you can see what the pollsters are predicting here on at the May2015 website (run by the New Statesman political magazine).

And now all we can do is wait and see what happens on 7th May.