Unionists balance of power shock – News of the World

On the details it’s a fairly confused and confusing report but I just had to share it.

That means Cameron, with the support of the Unionist parties in Northern Ireland, will have a majority of four and will be able to go and see the Queen and ask her permission to form a government.

NoW’s Pol Ed Ian Kirby shows an uncertain grasp of arithmetic and NI politics. All the same.. it takes me back to the 1964 election, which Harold Wilson won by a majority of 4 for Labour, in the days when all 12 UUs took the Conservative Whip. Wilson made no bones about deploring their very existence in the Commons. Nothing in later years persuaded him to change his mind.

Adds from UK Polling Report  

There was also an ICM poll of marginals in the News of the World. This was the same 96 seats ICM polled for the previous ICM marginal survey here. It showed support in these seats at CON 35%(-1), LAB 35%(-2), LDEM 22%(+3) – so only a minor Lib Dem boost in these seats. These levels of support equate to a swing to the Conservatives of 6.8%, so just the swing they would need for an overall majority, and about 1.8% more than the national swing suggested in ICM’s GB poll in the Sunday Telegraph (the News of the World has extrapolated this over the whole country to claim that the Conservatives would have an overall majority – that’s rather stretching it, firstly you can’t assume anything about LD/Con marginals from this poll, secondly the News of the World are making a lot of assumptions about how much support the Conservatives can rely upon from Northern Ireland.

You can say that again.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London