Only a fool dare predict the outcome of the next general election. Suggestions that either the Liberal Democrats will be wiped out or UKIP will gain more than a handful of seats are probably wishful thinking on some parties’ behalf.
It’s looking like the major battleground will be Scotland, where the latest poll suggests Scottish Labour faces being wiped out by SNP. If that poll really does reflect the way the election will go, then the SNP are on course to become the third largest party in the next Parliament.
What that means for the next government is anyone’s guess. A potentially fractious Labour/SNP/Liberal Democrat coalition is probably the least bad option as long as UKIP don’t gain enough seats to be potential power-brokers.
But the worst nightmare, perhaps even worse than a feared Conservative/UKIP coalition would be a grand coalition between Labour and the Conservatives. Such a government could bring out the very worst in both parties; the swivel-eyed social reactionary side of the Tories and the nasty authoritarian side of Labour that hasn’t completely purged the ghost of Joseph Stalin from its veins. Such a chimaeric monster risks being closer to actual real fascism than any coalition involving the right-wing UKIP.
“May you live in interesting times” was always a curse.