This past year has been a mixed one for the Conservatives. How will they do next year?
David Cameron's party can boast economic growth, falling unemployment and recent gains in the polls. However, they cannot boast that they are on track for a majority, they cannot boast that they have stemmed the increase in support for UKIP, and they cannot boast that they will definitely get the most seats in the general election. And what ever happened to the ‘Big Society’?
The Conservative party will probably not win a majority in May 2015. Such an outcome would be a tremendous feat for the party, but getting those extra seats and holding onto key marginals will be a massive challenge. The 40/40 strategy is one way the party are attempting to do this but a lot of work will be needed for their ideal income. If the party manages this, whilst managing to defeat UKIP where necessary, then David Cameron will go down in history for managing to extend his party’s lead whilst in power.
But as many polls are suggesting that the Tories and Labour are neck and neck the party has to hold onto voters before trying to get more. May 2015 will be a tight race and the Conservatives have the challenge of staying ahead of Labour.
UKIP are becoming a massive problem for the Conservative party. It is arguable that in some seats David Cameron’s party could lose out on winning due to some former Tories switching to UKIP. Additionally, if UKIP do manage to win a decent handful of seats next May, then that could encourage even more Conservatives tempted to switch to actually make the leap in years to come.
The Conservatives’ main challenge is keeping their plurality of seats in the Commons. And UKIP will be part of this problem.
If the party does manage to win the most seats in the commons but fall short of a majority, then the party will need agreements with other parties before it can govern. A deal with the Liberal Democrats might be possible once more, but would be less likely if the Lib Dems fail to return enough seats to the Commons for this. Depending on how UKIP could do, David Cameron could deal with Nigel Farage, but that could bring some of its own problems.
Winning the most seats is the first challenge, the second will be to deal with other parties. Whether or not the Conservatives can get a good deal to lead a coalition or a minority administration could be seen next year. Either way, 2015's parliament is likely to be a whole lot messier than the one formed in 2010, making the task of forming a government a whole lot more difficult.
How will the Conservatives do in 2015? Is there any chance of the party getting a majority?