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Who will be hitting the boos in 2015?

THE pantomime season is well under way in Westminster.

Yesterday, we had Nick Clegg taking Prime Minister's Questions on behalf of David Cameron - oh, yes he did.

Earlier in the week Danny Alexander and George Osborne played bickering Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Danny said he disagreed with George over the need to keep cutting back the state even after the deficit is paid off. This, days after presenting their Autumn Statement together.

They must have installed average speed cameras on the Road to Damascus for Danny Alexander to suddenly hit the brakes and realise Osborne actually believes in cutting the state come what may.

But in the new year we go from pantomime acts to thriller chapters and the most unpredictable general election in generations.

The polls have the Tories and Labour neck and neck. The geography of the constituencies could give Labour most seats but leave them short of an overall majority.

A souffle of Nationalist and Green MPs could push Labour over the line to majority. But the Thames would have to freeze over again (the last Ice Fair was in 1814) before Labour enter coalition with the SNP.

However, if the Tories have the most votes, though not the most seats, they are determined to woo the Lib Dems back into Coalition 2.0, a rebranded second-term alliance of second and third place losers. Senior Lib Dems are showing willing on this scheme.

Salmond said he couldn't stand on the sidelines any longer but that is where he might find himself, a powerless blowhard. Most Scots don't want a Tory government but SNP MPs make that more, not less likely.

The Scot to watch after May might be Danny Alexander, not Salmond. He could end up the kingmaker.

He ought to be toast in his Highland seat but people hate their votes being taken for granted.

The same may be true in Gordon where Salmond is mounting his comeback. This juggernaut of a politician is capable of overturning a 6000 Lib majority. But the arithmetic shows the other parties could gang up on him.

I think parties telling supporters to swap allegiance is an invitation for voters to go and tell them where to stick their loyalty.

Politicians should fight their corner and trust the wisdom of crowds. The electors will always boo the villains and cheer the heroes. As in panto, so in politics.

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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 11, 2014
Words:399
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