May 12: Two years for David Cameron to convince country on EU

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From: Mike Smith, Birkby, Huddersfield.

THE outcome of the General election was probably less of a surprise to many who live in the real world than it was to the media pundits, pollsters and politicians.

I suggest the main influencing factor behind the Tory success was the fact that enough of the electorate were not prepared to sacrifice their steady economic progress in favour of a wish-list of social pipe dreams.

That was probably closely followed by a promise of a referendum on the EU. David Cameron now has two years to persuade the Brussels bureaucracy to come up with some convincing reforms or it will be a definite “Out”. He, and for that matter the other parties now seeking to restore credibility, might also take note that Ukip polled almost four million votes. In spite of Ukip gaining only one seat, that size of vote should tell the others something of the underlying priorities of a large slice of the population.

It is unfortunate the Labour vote collapsed to the degree it did, whatever your political views might be. They were a major opposition party with at least the interests at heart of the United Kingdom as whole and that brings us to the SNP. The SNP polled a mere third of the Ukip vote and a small fraction of the Labour vote. Whatever Nicola Sturgeon or Alex Salmond may say, you can be sure their very left wing agenda will be focused exclusively on the interests of Scotland by taking the rest of the UK to the economic cleaners.

Let us hope there is enough statesmanship and support from all political quarters to keep the UK a coherent thriving nation and keep the crackpots at bay.

From: William Dixon Smith, Welland Rise, Acomb, York.

I CANNOT recall ever voting for a Liberal candidate. Nevertheless, I have always considered the party as an essential third force in British politics, providing a restraining and moderating voice at Westminster. The parliamentary party under the guidance of Nick Clegg changed all that. Never was politician’s career crowned with so well-deserved a defeat.

As Les Arnott has pointed out (The Yorkshire Post, May 9), the Liberal party was given a heaven-sent opportunity to demand a change in the electoral system. He mismanaged it completely, opting for a referendum on multiple choice AV, a system which neither he nor his party cared for.

Les Arnott’s slip in describing it as a referendum on AV+ is significant. I have also seen it described elsewhere in the national press as a referendum on PR. This trumpet for electoral reform gave an uncertain, not to say muffled, sound.

Almost as bad was Clegg’s attempt to shrug off the question of student fees. The slightest suggestion of compromise would have seemed statesmanlike under the circumstances. Instead, he hoped everyone would forget and applaud his ambition to be a government Minister. Old men forget, but the young have somewhat better memories.

From: Terry Duncan, Greame Road, Bridlington.

I DO hope the newspapers and the TV companies sue the people who were paid a lot of money for providing shockingly inaccurate forecasts, i.e. the pollsters, that possibly altered the voting intentions of the UK electorate.

From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland. Barnsley.

IT seems the Greens are cock-a-hoop because they managed to get one million votes and one seat in the General Election and are hoping “to kick on”, according to their leader. Ukip received almost four million votes yet only won one seat while the SNP won 56 seats while polling a measly 1.4 million votes.

On these figures it looks like Ukip were well and truly kippered. Is it now time for proportional representation?

From: John Fisher, Menwith Hill.

BEFORE David Cameron sets about reforming the EU, he may like to resolve UK problems such the obsolete first past the post system that allows him to govern the country with some 37 per cent of the national vote.

From: Max Nottingham, St Faith’s Street, Lincoln.

The Tory win was a shocker. But only one in four registered electors voters voted Tory and winners will not change the system. A lady I used to know lived her life under the slogan “This too will pass”. So we non-Tories must live in hope of one day escaping from the Tory cul-de-sac.

From: Karl Sheridan, Selby Road, Holme on Spalding Moor.

I DON’T envy the Conservative Party one little bit – David Cameron no longer has the mediating presence of the Lib Dems to keep his backbenchers in order, plus he will now have to deal with the now euphoric Scottish National Party. Will Cameron manage to keep all his desperate promises? I doubt it very much.

From: DS Boyes, Leeds.

FORMER Labour leader Michael Foot’s crackpot manifesto was said to be the longest suicide note in history, Ed Miliband’s set in stone maybe the heaviest.

From: William Snowden, Baildon Moor, Baildon.

ED Miliband’s cynical attempt to apportion blame to David Cameron for the parlous situation in Libya, and the reckless embarkation of African migrants, betrayed a high degree of shameless opportunism.