The self-declared Conservative and Unionist Party won the General Election in England by harnessing English nationalism, and the Scottish Nationalists did the same in Scotland by harnessing Scottish nationalism. The two nations, by the rhetoric of their election campaigns, have thus set themselves on a collision course.
I've lost count of the number of Northern Ireland media commentators who regularly and spontaneously burst into laughter at the mere mention of Peter Robinson's "graduated unionist response" promised over the parading stand off over the Ardoyne shops in North Belfast.
The British Polling Council is about to carry out an enquiry as to how the pollsters could have so wrongly forecast the outcome of the British general election: there was David Cameron writing his resignation speech in preparation for a hung parliament and a constitutional crisis (and Samantha Cameron allegedly packing up the kitchenware to move from No 10) when came the stunning surprise: the vote produced a Tory majority government, and the lowest Labour support since 1983!
For anyone who hasn't been paying attention, the Conservatives, whom the poll of polls had predicted would win 34pc of the vote and struggle to cobble together a shaky coalition, won 36.9pc and hence 331 seats out of 650, giving them a majority of 12. (Actually, it's better for them than that, because the four Sinn Fein MPs obligingly refuse to take their seats.)
No British government has won anything approaching half of the popular vote in more than half a century. The best Tony Blair managed was 43pc, and that was only when the Tories had become toxic. Margaret Thatcher in her prime never bettered Blair, even when Labour was unelectable.
There was a precedent. The last time the polls suggested an election was close - in 1992 - the Conservatives emerged with an eight-point lead and an overall majority. This time, the Conservatives are seven points ahead and David Cameron has just managed to win a majority.
This UK general election was described by many political observers as the dullest campaign to date. Frozen in a sedulous fear of social media and opinion polls which indicated minimal margins of difference, the media strategists of virtually all political parties revelled in the security of sameness.
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