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On the British elections

The whole deal has about as much impact on my life as the German elections, but much like the NFL season, I follow Brit politics in a diffident way on account of how there's some correspondence between the Tories in the UK and the Republicans here. The big difference, as Mark Steyn observes, is that the Tories can't seem to bring themselves to campaign on the cultural issues that have galvanized the base of the Republicans and taken them off Wall Street and back to Main Street.

One observation that nobody seems to have made (not even the lads at England's Sword, who like Steyn and Jim Geraghty of NRO were liveblogging the election is that the Conservatives didn't make a lot of progress on their own merits. It seems to me from a cursory once-over of the various blogs and the BBC Elections page that Labor lost about 4.5% to the Liberal Democrats due to the war issue, which was enough to split the left in a lot of constituencies and let the Tory candidate in, very much like what went on in Canada before the Conservative and Reform parties merged. It seems pretty obvious to me that Steyn is right - the Tories are going to be mired in the minority until they take a page from the Reagan playbook and start speaking to social conservatives in the UK on topics like immigration, widespread yobbery and the EU, which might be enough to peel the necessary margin away from the UKIP, BNP and other fringe parties, to say nothing of Labor voters who don't like the way things are going.