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The safe seat angle turns out to be a bit of a myth. Blair won two landslides that demolished many Tory safe havens.

Even after a term with Gordo the Unpopular, the best the Tories could do was scrape into power on the back of an opportunist turn-coat from a party many of them despise.

I think the Lib Dems have already alienated at least two thirds of their likely voters, and what's left isn't much.

A few of the right-wingers will likely to defect to the Tories, where some of them may even keep their seats. A rump of die-hard independents with little influence will be left.

So the next election will be a straight Labour/Tory fight. Unless Milliband gets something horribly wrong, Labour will pick off many of the unpopular Lib Dems in constituencies that used to be LD vs Tory.

Tories will consolidate the rest, but with some serious bleeding to UKIP.

So even if the coalition survives to 2015, it has almost no chance of getting through the next election. There simply won't be enough LD MPs to matter and the Tories are insane if they think they can win a straight majority without them.

We can expect the Tories to play the Europhobic anti-immigrant cards, but the economy will surely be in an even worse state than it is now, and at best that's going to be a rearguard action.

The next election is Labour's to lose.

I think most of the LDs will continue to hang in there for now, because it's better to have a job than not have a job. But the cracks will become increasingly obvious next year.

The real danger isn't from the Lib Dems leaving but from the Rabid Right getting too ambitious. If that happens things could fall apart very quickly.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jul 16th, 2012 at 12:36:31 PM EST
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