The UK goes to the polls tomorrow – much of England for council elections, and all of us for the European Parliament elections, with much of the rest of the European Union to follow on Sunday.
It should prove to be an exciting and potentially seismic day. The Labour government in Westminster seems to be lurching from crisis to crisis, with Gordon Brown seeming so out of control of events that I am almost tempted to feel sorry for him. Almost, until I remind myself of his record since becoming Prime Minister and before that as Tony Blair’s Chancellor.
Labour are predicted by some to come fourth – can you believe that? – after the Tories, LibDems and UKIP, with minor parties predicted to make gains too. While I am all for a diversity of political views among our elected representatives, the flip side of the current discontent is that the far-right BNP are expected to make another breakthrough. Although given that turnout is forecast to be very low, I believe that any BNP success will be as much down to those who stay at home on polling day as those who vote for them. To paraphrase the famous saying, all that requires for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.
In terms of the Scottish dimension to the election, it’s not going to be a remarkable result, I don’t think – the six seats will almost certainly be split two each for Labour and the SNP, and one each for the Tories and LibDems, with the only doubt being over whether Labour keep their second seat.
Oh, and incidentally, Scotland’s total of six seats in the European Parliament (with a population of 5 million people) compares pathetically with shares of other similarly-sized countries: Finland (5.3m), Denmark (5.5m) and Slovakia (5.3m) have 13; and Ireland (4.4m) and Lithuania (3.3m) have 12. Cyprus (0.8m), Estonia (1.3m) and Luxembourg (0.5m), meanwhile, boast the same number of seats as Scotland.
The difference? Unlike Scotland, those countries are independent, of course. No prizes for guessing where my vote will be going tomorrow.
In other news, it’s more or less the middle of my week off, and yesterday’s glorious sunshine has been replaced by grey skies again, which has been a good incentive to stay inside and write. Tonight, I am off to the cinema for the first time in ages – to see the latest installment in the Terminator series, Terminator: Salvation. Should be good.