General Election 2015: with 100 days to go

01 Jan 1970 1:00 am by Leela Bozonelis

With 100 days until the general election, the two main parties are more or less neck-and-neck in press coverage. Labour is on around 33 per cent in the polls, and the Conservatives are on about 32 per cent. With no clear winner, experts are uncertain not only about which party is likely to come out with most seats on May 7, but even about whether a viable coalition will be formed.

Current polls show that it is unlikely the Conservatives will do better than they did in the last election. In an interview with the South Yorkshire Times, Nottingham University professor of politics Philip Cowley said: "[This] is the first election in living memory where we expect the outcome to be as messy as it might be, with it being quite possible that a combination of the first and third placed parties will not be able to form a coalition. It's also quite possible that we will end up with no truly national' party after the dust has settled."

Is a multi-party coalition is a possibility?

As speculated in The Guardian, "If Ukip and the SNP upset the electoral apple cart, then simple arithmetic shows we could be left with a messy coalition-forming scenario". There had been media speculation that Labour might form a coalition with the SNP. However, this was quickly ruled out by shadow chancellor Ed Balls. As our Nexis analysis shows, the story never really took off and died out quite quickly.

The current situation is diverse:

  • The surge by minor parties could mean neither major party has enough seats to form a coalition with just the Lib Dems
  • It is not certain the Tories would want another Lib Dem coalition anyway
  • The SNP say they will never deal with the Tories
  • Labour could try to create an alliance with the Lib Dems, SNP and Greens.
  • Cameron could try for a coalition with the DUP and the Lib Dems

The only certainty at this stage is the uncertainty

Not even the most veteran Westminster watchers feel certain enough to call the election for one side or the other. And, if no rainbow alliance is agreed, we could be looking at an unprecedented second election.

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