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Lessons from Obama’s victory

It’s not simply that Obama won, nor even that he won by a far larger margin than the media (ever eager to exaggerate electoral uncertainty to increase newspaper sales) had predicted. It’s the small print of the election which is so interesting. Social liberalism prevailed over hardline conservatism.

The first openly gay member of the Senate was elected. The apologists for ‘legitimate rape’ found their voting base collapse. Two states have just become the first to approve same-sex marriage. The appetite for capital punishment seems to be beginning to decline. Healthcare reform was preserved, as were the budgets for Medicare and Medicaid. And the Tea Party suffered significant defeats.

Cameron was quick to declare that the way to win elections is to hold to the centre ground. He told his party they should be “arguing about the things that matter to most people – that is making sure they can find a good job, they can build a good life for themselves”.

On that basis even the moderate wing of the Tory party, let alone the hard-core Romney-supporting Right, are doing badly and show no sign of changing course. Tell that to the people of the Midlands and North about finding a good job.

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