The race to the general election has begun and the outcome is entirely uncertain. The CSJ held its first pre-election breakfast briefing this week hosted by leading political commentator Fraser Nelson, but while those attending may have been hoping for a definitive answer on what we can expect come May 7 from someone in the know, they heard that would be impossible to predict.
In fact the editor of the Spectator called the 2015 election the least predictable in his lifetime.
Last year Fraser told the Guardian that he would bet £1,000 on Ed Miliband winning the election. However that was then and this is now- he said. Twelve months is an eternity in British politics.
Fraser would no longer back an election winner with a bet, although at a push he said the needle is pointing slightly towards David Cameron.
As to why, that may be because of Ed Miliband – his unpopularity compared with David Cameron being the greatest asset the Conservatives have, according to Fraser.
The Spectator’s editor predicts that Miliband will make so many gaffes on the election campaign that people will be too busy laughing to vote for him.
However, says Fraser, the Conservatives may have a real problem with delivery, especially with a number of candidates feeling unsupported by central government. He said that Labour also has more brand power than the Tories – but both parties still suffer from the fact that their leaders have spent virtually all their time in the political bubble with little experience of the real world.
The real prize will go to the SNP, said Fraser. He said the party will take more seats from Labour than Ukip will take from the Conservatives.
They deserve credit, he argued, for generating and sustaining the politics of optimism. Labour and the Conservatives on the other hand are both advocates of negative politics- and there is no reason to think that will change on this campaign trail.
But Fraser warned that anyone who believes the SNP are backing a Labour victory is sorely mistaken. David Cameron remaining in Downing Street is what the Nationalists really want. They don’t want a halfway house coalition with the Labour party, they want the destruction of the UK, and the Scots are much more likely to vote for that with the Conservatives at the helm.