Although, in this General Election, I hadn't expected such a large chunk of the UKIP vote to switch to Labour (thus defeating their own professed key policy's safety), especially in the south, the outcome wasn't something I had not foreseen as a – hopefully remote – possibility. The strong mobilisation of the so-called 'youth vote' was another factor that shifted the dynamics significantly.
As ever, Labour were largely reliant on the 'freebies for the many' bribery technique that has long served them so well when dealing with the (sadly) gullible masses – and millions fell for it, as they always do. This is the 'sales pitch' that a Labour government will give you all that you seek in life, gladly handed out free of charge by the State. As long as someone else is described as paying for it (even though that is nearly always a falsehood) they are happy to go along with it.
Of course it's all nonsense; but that doesn't register with those millions of voters, either now or ever in the past. That is why the technique is still prevalent with the Labour party in particular: it works!
It is, nevertheless, salutary to note that despite all of this, and despite a poorly-devised Conservative manifesto and a lacklustre campaign, Labour still lost this election and ended up a long way short of a majority. Indeed, the Conservative vote count went up significantly since two years ago, even though it didn't translate ideally into seats in this starkly two-party election in which every other party fell by the wayside as essentially irrelevant.
As usual, my longer-term prediction is that our new path will converge on where we would have been anyway, some fifteen years hence. It will just be a much more bumpy ride than it needed to be…