London, United Kingdom -- Britain will go to the polls this coming May 7 in its first fixed-date election. Years of irresponsible ''New Labour'' pink glasses economics have left the United Kingdom with a significant burden of debt and a structural deficit that has yet to be brought under control. The economic crisis only compounded Britain's fiscal fragility.
The financial austerity made necessary to re-balance the books has not helped to make the current Conservative government very popular. Like France, Greece and Spain, the United Kingdom has seen its electorate fragmented by the emergence of single issue populist or separatist parties that have made unstable hung or minority parliaments more likely.
The outgoing Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron, has been under significant pressure to improve the public perception environment for his Conservatives. Although consistently more popular than his own party, many in his camp see him as a liability and a significant drag on their re-election prospects. In a probable effort to mitigate some of this internal nervousness, Cameron surprised many by announcing that he would not seek a third mandate.
The Conservatives also have to deal with significant pressure from the right. Nigel Farage and his United Kingdom Independence Party, or UKIP, are poised to cause a number of upsets as the Party siphons off support to take seats from the Conservatives or divide the vote and sacrifice seats to Labour. UKIP has successfully galvanised the anti-European sentiment being blamed for the country's economic woes, by promising to leave the EU, exert greater control over the UK's borders and cut foreign aid.
The only other man that could become Prime Minister is best known for knifing his own brother to become Leader of his Party. David Miliband was Gordon Brown's Foreign Secretary and favored to replace him. To beat him, Ed would make a pact with the devil himself: Unions. Outside of his spectacular Greek tragedy inspired entrance, Ed Miliband has mostly fizzled into a Mr. Bean-like, gaff-prone media gift that just keeps on giving.
He has forgotten speech subjects; how he would deal with the UK deficit or how he would fix the immigration crisis his ''New Labour'' predecessors created; he has been unable to say what he and his family spend on average for groceries, earning him an''out of touch with reality''brand that has been difficult to shake; a populist attempt at eating a bacon sandwich backfired -- the pictures speak for themselves; he omitted telling a journalist interviewing him and his wife that they had two kitchens in their £2.5M home. The headline to that story coined him Ed ''two kitchens'' Miliband. Priceless.
Finally, there was a friendly fire shot he took from Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who told a reporter that anyone who claimed Mr. Miliband was popular was simply "telling lies"; constituents he was talking to were telling him they don't want him as Prime Minister because they thought he was "aloof". "They'd prefer to go for a pint with David Cameron than they would with Ed Miliband, that's the reality of it".
Any potential UKIP induced Labour gains vis-à-vis the Conservatives will be offset by significant projected losses Labour will suffer at the hands of the Scottish National Party or SNP. Its leadership has made clear it will do what it can to defeat a new Conservative government, preferring to hold the balance of power in a potential Labour Government. Conservatives have been quick to remind voters this would translate into a Labour Government that would be dependent on a separatist Party to hold power, a scenario of chaos for the British economy.
Finally, the polls are doing what they do best: speculating. The last two had one putting Labour ahead by four, while the other had the Conservatives ahead by four. Good luck making heads or tails of those poll interpretations. With just over a month to EDay, it is still very much anybody's race. And so the Battle for Britain begins.
Joseph Soares is an entrepreneur and author. Joseph's work is focused on strategic communication. He served as a political advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada, as well as a policy advisor to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. He blogs at www.josephsoares.com.