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How Cameron lost his landslide

Elections are seldom won. Usually, the party in power does something to bring about its own downfall. For the Tories in the 1990s, its squabbling over Europe and lies over the danger of Mad Cows Disease, did for John Major's administration. It had little to do with the presence of an articulate and youthful Labour leader, Tony Blair. Likewise, if Cameron loses in 2015, his Conservative Party will only have itself to blame. Peter Kellner of You Gov wrote a convincing article about an alternative universe, one in which Cameron campaigned in favour of changing the electoral system, in the 2011 referendum on AV. If adopted, then many of those veering towards the more right wing alternative, UKIP, would have likely placed the Tories as their second choice, helping them in key marginal seats. Yet, in the real universe, the Tory leader was happy to defend an electoral system that does not give voters the chance of ranking candidates in order, nor one that benefit his party.

Similarly, if the "Cameroons" are licking their wounds on 8th May, they may consider all the missed opportunities of ridding themselves of their "nasty party" image. Their conversations should analyse the severity of a cuts programme that killed the economy for two years, when Labour spending plans (by no means profligate) would have sufficed. And let's not forget the reorganising of the NHS, despite promises to leave it alone. The party now owns the A&E crisis, and the inevitable forthcoming stories of private companies botching operations.

It might well be the case that David Cameron leads the largest party after the General Election, but given the state of the opposition, questions should be raised about how he squandered the chance to win big.

Update 22nd March: Conservative peer and pollster Lord Ashcroft comes to a similar conclusion in his latest analysis.

Abbott's Nazi outburst

When Malcolm X came to Brum