The Con/Lib Agreement on Europe

Cleveland (European Parliament constituency)
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My last post had a quick look at what the Con/Lib Agreement said on Political Reform. Now look at what should be a what the Agreement says on the EU. As a Euroblogger I probably should have done this first!

The UK will not join the Euro. No surprise there.

They will try to limit the Working Time Directive in its application to the UK.

The 1972 European Communities Act will be amended so that any proposed future Treaty that transferred areas of power, or competences, would be subject to a referendum on that Treaty. Basically the idea of the Irish Crotty Judgement incorporated into UK Law.

The Sovereignty Bill is only a maybe. The basis will be “examined”

They will press for the European Parliament only to have one seat, in Brussels. I hope they will push hard on this!

Thay have agreed that that all forthcoming legislation in the area of criminal justice will be judged on a case by case basis, with a view to maximising our country’s security and protecting Britain’s civil liberties. Britain will not participate in the establishment of any European Public Prosecutor.

It is an interesting agreement on Europe and it looks like the Liberal Democrats managed to hold back the Conservatives on some of the most europhobic parts of the party.

Another interesting part of this is that Nick Clegg may actually have more influence before a European Council then David Cameron. I am sure he will be ensuring that he attends the get togethers of the Liberal Leaders before summits, David Cameron on the other hand has no one to meet in the ECR, the Conservatives grouping in the European Parliament.

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Some points from the Conservative and Liberal Agreement: Political Reform

no original description
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The Liberal Democrats have posted the agreement online. Here are some of things that jump out at me on Political Reform.

  • We agree to establish a committee to bring forward proposals for a wholly or mainly elected upper chamber on the basis of proportional representation.
  • The parties agree to the establishment of five year fixed-term parliaments
  • The parties will bring forward a Referendum Bill on electoral reform, which includes provision for the introduction of the Alternative Vote in the event of a positive result in the referendum, as well as for the creation of fewer and more equal sized constituencies.
  • The parties will bring forward early legislation to introduce a power of recall,
  • We have agreed to establish a commission to consider the ‘West Lothian question’
  • The parties agree to the implementation of the Calman Commission proposals and the offer of a referendum on further Welsh devolution.

Some big things there! What jumps out at you?

Also David Cameron has just announced that Nick Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister will be responsible for Political Reform. So this will be an important part of the agreement.

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The New UK Government

{{en}} East entrance of HM Treasury {{fr}} Ent...
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Taken from the Facebook page notes:

Here is the cabinet as it is announced. The Liberal Democrats are expected to get 5 posts, 3  are confirmed (Clegg, Laws, Cable), but 2 others have been mentioned (Huhne (Climate and Energy) and Alexander (Scotland) . So far only one woman as been appointed. (13:20 update)

The Full Cabinet as Announced:

Prime Minister – David Cameron (Con)

Deputy Prime Minister – Nick Clegg (LD)

Chancellor of the Exchequer – George Osborne (Con)

Foreign Secretary – William Hague (Con)

Secretary of State for Education – Michael Gove (Con)

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions – Iain Duncan Smith (Con)

Secretary of State for Health – Andrew Lansley (Con)

Secretary of State for Scotland – Danny Alexander (LD)

Secretary of State for Defence – Liam Fox (Con)

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change – Chris Huhne (LD)

Secretary of State for Home Affairs and minister for Women and Equality – Theresa May (Con)

Secretary of State of Justice and Lord Chancellor – Kenneth Clarke (Con)

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills – Vince Cable (LD)

Chief Whip – Patrick McLoughlin (Con)

Chief Secretary to the Treasury – David Laws (LD)

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government – Eric Pickles (Con)

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – Caroline Spelman (Con)

Secretary of State for Transport – Philip Hammond (Con)

Secretary of State for International Development – Andrew Mitchell (Con)

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport – Jeremy Hunt (Con)

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – Owen Paterson (Con)

Secretary of State for Wales – Cheryl Gillan (Con)

Leader of the House of Lords, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – Lord Strathclyde (Con)

Leader of the House of Commons, Lord Privy Seal – Sir George Young (Con)

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Paymaster General – Francis Maude (Con)

Minister of State, Cabinet Office – Oliver Letwin (Con)

Minister of State (Universities and Science) – Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills – David Willetts (Con)

Minister without portfolio – Baroness Warsi (also Conservative Party chairman) (Con)

Attorney General – Dominic Grieve (Con)


Prime Minister: David Cameron (Con)

Deputy Prime Minister: Nick Clegg (LD)

Chancellor of the Exchequer: George Osborne (Con)

Foreign Secretary: William Hague (Con)

Health Secretary: Andrew Lansley (Con)

Defence Secretary: Liam Fox (Con)

Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary: Ken Clarke (Con)

Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality: Theresa May (Con)

Chief Whip: Patrick McLoughlin (Con)

Business Secretary: Vince Cable (LD)

Schools Secretary: Michael Gove (Con)

Chief Secretary to the Treasury: David Laws (LD)

Scotland Secretary: Danny Alexander (LD)

15:15 Communities and Local Government Secretary: Eric Pickles (Con)

15:35 Work and Pensions Secretary: Iain Duncan Smith (Con)

Possible Appointments:

Attorney General: Dominic Grieve (Con)

Environment and Climate Change Secretary: Chris Huhne (LD)

Culture Secretary: Jeremy Hunt (Con)

Conservative Party Chairman: Baroness Warsi (Con)

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Caroline Spelman (Con)

Cabinet Office: Francis Maude (Con)

Still to be Appointed:

Welsh Secretary

Northern Ireland Secretary

Transport Secretary

International Development Secretary

Paymaster General

Baroness Warsi – Conservative Party chairman
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If the UK Election had taken place under the List System

British House of Commons.
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One of the electoral systems that is currently used in the UK for European Parliament Elections, London Assembly, Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament elections is currently being ignored in the talk about a new electoral system for the UK. So I did a little experiment with the Election Calculus Simulator. I used the different nations of the UK as the basis of the constituencies. (For purpose of these I ignored the votes for others, all vote figures were taken from the BBC website)

So lets take a look at the results.

England (533 Seats)

List System:

  • Conservatives (40.0%):215
  • Labour (28.4%):152
  • Lib Dem (24.5%):131
  • UKIP (3.5%):18
  • BNP (2.1%):11
  • Green (1.0%): 5
  • English Democrats (0.3%):1

Actual results:

  • Conservatives: 297
  • Labour: 191
  • Liberal Democrats: 43
  • Green: 1

Scotland (59 Seats)

List System:

  • Labour (42.2%): 26
  • SNP (20.0%): 12
  • Lib Dem (19.0%): 11
  • Conservative (16.8%): 10

Actual Result:

  • Labour: 41
  • Lib Dem: 11
  • SNP: 6
  • Conservatives: 1

Wales (40 Seats)

List System:

  • Labour (36.9%): 16
  • Conservatives (26.5%): 11
  • Liberal Dems (20.5%): 8
  • Plaid Cymru (11.5%): 4
  • UKIP (2.5%): 1

Actual Result:

  • Labour: 26
  • Conservative: 8
  • Lib Dem: 3
  • Plaid Cymru: 3

Northern Ireland (18 seats)

List System:

  • SF (27.5%): 6
  • DUP (26.9%): 5
  • SDLP (17.7%): 3
  • UUP (16.3%): 3
  • Alliance (6.8%): 1

Actual Result:

  • DUP: 8
  • SF :5
  • SDLP: 3
  • Alliance 1
  • Others: 1

This would have translated to a parliament made of the following:

  • Conservatives:  236
  • Labour: 194
  • Liberal Democrats: 150
  • UKIP: 19
  • SNP: 12
  • BNP: 11
  • SF: 6
  • Greens: 5
  • DUP: 5
  • Plaid: 4
  • SDLP: 3
  • UUP: 3
  • Alliance: 1
  • English Democrats: 1

Now that would be an interesting Parliament!

I doubt that the List sytem would be used for the House of Commons, but it could be a possibility for the House of Lords. That makes it all the more interesting!

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UK Election

UK 2010 election: actual results for comparison
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I know I haven’t blogged about the UK General Election since before it, that is because of two reasons. One is work and life in General and the other was I wanted to see how the coalition talks were going.

So as you know, the end results of the General Election were as follows:

  • Conservatives 306 (+97)
  • Labour 258 (-91)
  • Liberal Democrats 57 (-5)
  • DUP 8 (-1)
  • SNP 6 (NC)
  • Sinn Fein 5 (NC)
  • Plaid Cymru 3 (+1)
  • SDLP 3 (NC)
  • Green 1 (+1)
  • Alliance 1 (+1)

Conversely in the Local Elections in England, Labour were the winners in terms of increases, but the Conservatives still control the most councils. The Main results were as follows:

  • Conservatives suffered a net loss of 8 councils and lost 121 councillors.
  • Labour gained control of an extra 14 councils and gained 393 councillors
  • Liberal Democrats suffered a net loss of 3 councils and lost 119 councillors
  • Independents lost 106 seats
  • The British National Party lost 26 seats.

So looking back at my predictions how did i do?

Vote Share

The Conservatives will win the most votes, followed by the Liberal Democrats. Labour will come third.

Well I got the first place right. But thats it.


Conservaties will have about 270, Labour, 260, Liberal Democrats 90.

I was close on the Labour number as they ended up on 258. I was out on the other two.

Other Parties

Greens will win their first seat. My money is on Brighton Pavillion.


BNP will not win a seat.


UKIP will win two seats. Buckingham and one other

Wrong. They won none

SNP will increase their seats by 2

Wrong, they didnt increase their seats.

PC will also increase their seats by 2

Wrong, they only took an extra seat.

So it was an interesting at times election. I stayed up until 4am Friday morning and I was bored at times.

The negotiations between the Conservatives and Lib Dems are coming to a close as I type and it will be up to the parliamentary party of each party now.

I wonder where it will go. Full coalition or Supple and Confidence Pact? What do you think?

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UK Election Predictions

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So tomorrow will see the polls opening for the UK General Election. I have been following the campaigns in my spare time but not really blogging about it. Mainly as I didn’t know where I stood. I do now.

I am hoping for a Liberal Democrat surge tomorrow.

But enough of who I want to do well, on to some predictions. Some of these are random, others are obvious. I will be up late into the night on Thursday watching the results on the telly and if anything interesting happens, it will be blogged about!

So, on to the predictons!

Vote Share

The Conservatives will win the most votes, followed by the Liberal Democrats. Labour will come third.


Conservaties will have about 270, Labour, 260, Liberal Democrats 90.

Other Parties

Greens will win their first seat. My money is on Brighton Pavillion.

BNP will not win a seat.

UKIP will win two seats. Buckingham and one other

SNP will increase their seats by 2

PC will also increase their seats by 2

Northern Ireland is too close to call for me.

They are my predictions. A hung parliament is in the offing. Have you got any predictions?

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UK Election 2010

Lib Dems logo
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I haven’t yet blogged about the general election in the UK. For me this has been one of the most interesting ones to watch. The rise of Liberal Democrats is amazing to see, and the polls are all over the place. The only thing for certain is that Labour will not win the popular vote.

That is where watching UK elections get boring. No matter haw much you play with swing calculators and polls the Lib Dems even if they win the popular vote, will not be forming the next government. They may form part of it, or support the next government through some sort of pact, but it will not be what they want.

Of course this puts the Lib Dems in the best position to ask for and get electoral reform. Labour are willing to give the Alternative Vote, but the Liberal Democrats want PRSTV like here in Ireland. Now how exciting would UK elections be then?

The Conservatives are holding there own in this election, but of course the rise of the Lib Dems has caught everyone. No one was prepared for that. They are down slightly in the polls, but still are in the lead.

The night of May 6th is going to be a very interesting night. There will be heads rolling from the cabinet on a good day for Labour. The Brown campaign isn’t going well, but good campaigning by good candidates will see them do well.

One of the seats I will be watching will be Brighton Pavillion as there the Green Party has one of its best chances to take a seat. Another one to watch will be Norwich North. I will of course be also hoping that Barking doesn’t go to the BNP.

This election could mark a change in UK Politics, for that reason alone I will be up all night on May 6th!

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