With less than a month left to the May 7 election, Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives and opposition Labour party are tied at 34 percent, according to a YouGov poll for The Sun newspaper published on Friday. Labour and Conservatives remain unchanged at 34 percent from a day earlier, according to the latest YouGov poll. The poll put UK Independence Party unchanged at 14 percent, the Liberal Democrats at 9 percent, up 2 points, and the Greens unchanged at 5 percent, the newspaper said. The two main parties have been neck-and-neck in the polls since the beginning of the year, with neither establishing a lead beyond the typical 3 percent margin of error in most surveys. Full story >>
The cartoon by Brian Adcock from The Independent shows UK PM David Cameron and Labour Party leader Ed Miliband neck and neck as they head for the finish line in the election race. Way behind them come the leaders of the other main parties: Nigel Farage (UKIP), Nicola Sturgeon (SNP), and Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats). However, the prize which awaits the first one to cross the finish line is a hangman's noose marked 'Hung Parliament'.
IDIOM - NECK AND NECK
This saying goes back to at least the early to mid-19th century where it was a common term used in horse races. Sometimes, during a race, horses and their riders will be evenly matched, running side by side with each other. When this happens, the horses are said to be neck and neck. Today, this phrase is used, not just in reference to horses that are evenly matched, but also to other types of competitions where things are close. • Mary and Ann were neck and neck in the spelling contest. Their scores were tied.
The cartoonist is playing on the expression neck and neck and the fact that a condemned man has to put his neck in the noose before he is hanged. The noose represents a 'hung parliament', which is an election outcome in which no party gains an absolute majority of seats. When that happens, the party with the most seats will usually try to form a coalition with one or more of the smaller parties (which is what happened after the 2010 UK General Election). The cartoonist is highlighting the fact that the most likely result on May 7th is another hung parliament, which will make governing more difficult for whoever becomes Prime Minister (and it's bound to be either Cameron or Miliband).