Conservative insiders are increasingly confident that the Tories will win today’s U.K. election. Polls close at 5 p.m. eastern time, and there will be an immediate exit poll.
If the Tories win — ending a 13-year wilderness period — it will not be as emphatic as every pundit expected at the start of the year. Cameron will have to make deeper spending cuts than any British post-war government and it is likely that he’ll be doing so with only 35 to 40 percent of British voters having voted for him. I expect he’ll offer some joint working groups with the opposition Liberal Democrats in a bid to show he wants to govern for the majority. The Lib Dems — under Nick Clegg — may end up with 100 MPs from this election, institutionalizing three-party politics in the U.K. Labour look set for a catastrophic result and may lose a third of their seats.