What would a Tory victory mean?

The exit polls are predicting a solid Conservative victory, as is most of my Twitter feed and most importantly the bookies.  If indeed this comes to pass, it has (at least) two pretty simple implications:

1. A people “wise enough” to opt for government-owned hospitals and single-payer health care have decided they want government smaller, not bigger.  You will note “UK public spending was 36.6% of gdp in 2000, and had edged up over 50% by 2009 and 2010 and now [2013] is still in the range of 49% or so.”  The Tories are indeed the party for smaller government.

2. The verdict is sufficiently positive on the “austerity experiment” (not what I prefer to call it, but that is a different story).  I know this is literally unfathomable to the authors of the 7,243 blog posts I have read criticizing or perhaps even savagely attacking UK austerity, but here’s the nub of the matter:  If indeed the UK should have a smaller government relative to gdp, in the medium term it will make up all of the relevant lost ground, and then some.  A lot of UK voters understand that, a lot of American and British intellectuals do not, even though the latter are the ones who have studied the Solow model.  I do not a priori dismiss the “labor market scarring story,” but if there is any country where it does not seem to apply it is the UK, which has had quite a rapid labor market bounce back.

Anyway, electoral events may yet surprise us, but at the very least the Tories are still in the running.  Scott Sumner comments as well.  By the way, if SNP really did take 58 out of 59 Scottish seats, it does seem to me that Great Britain will split up, much to my chagrin.  So I am not overall cheered by the exit poll.


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