Uncertain times ahead for politically divided Britain

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Reports Bennett Morgan.

The latest batch of poll results out of the United Kingdom show Labour maintains a lead of up to 1% over the Conservative Party, whilst other results show the two traditional main-block parties even.

In May 2010 Britain faced it’s most uncertain election result ever. David Cameron had expected a clean-sweep for his centre-right party which had sat on the sidelines for 13 long years. A month ago victory was certain, now as Mr. Cameron sat glumly in his limousine nothing was certain at all.

For days Britain descended into chaos. Dissatisfaction with the two major parties, especially Labour, had left Britain with no clear government. With the world facing economic meltdown, and Britain a £100b+ deficit, the three major parties agreed a coalition should be in order, and only unity would able Britain to recover. What was it to be? Labour/Lib Dem or Tory/Lib Dem. It was up to Nick Clegg, and for days Brown and Cameron tried to persuade the kingmaker. Many suspected the Lib Dems to choose Labour, a natural alliance, as many Lib Dems had spent decades fighting the Conservatives. Eventually the Lib Dems chose the Conservatives who had won the most votes and most seats. Cameron,though, was utterly determined to govern alone by 2015. The Lib Dems suffered massively with their decision to side with the centre-right, sliding within weeks from 25% support to less than 10%. In that same period Labour quickly rose ahead of the Tories, climbing as high as 40%.

To make matters worse for the Conservatives, several decisions including the much detested ‘Bedroom tax’ and other austerity measures hammered the party as low as 27% in the polls. With the decline of the Lib Dems and the Conservatives, Labour grew – but not for long. The UK Independence Party quickly sprouted with its hardline opposition to the EU and immigration. UKIP, a party of libertarians and hardcore Thatcherites, had grown little since it’s inception in the 90s. Nigel Farage, keen to grow the party into new demographics, painted the party as a more conservative party with the desire to return to ‘the way things were’  and keep Britain ‘British’. This appealed to older votes and the party bloomed.

Enter 2014/15 and Labour has fallen dramatically from it’s high-point of 40% to as low as 29% now. Similarly the Conservatives continue to struggle with an unfixable leak of it’s support bleeding away to UKIP and the new far-right. Similarly in the north of England UKIP is appealing to the working class, who traditionally vote Labour, with promises to defend the NHS (National Health Service) and control immigration. In the south the Greens are expecting to pick up as many as 7 seats.

The once two-party Britain is now a five party Britain, perhaps even more. The Scottish National Party has ballooned in support since the Scottish referendum and is expecting to make life hell for the dominant Labour Party.
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With both major parties failing to appeal, the days of coalitions, divisions and confusion are far from completion. Whichever government Britain has post May; Cons/UKIP, Cons/UKIP/LD, Cons/LD, Labour/LD, Labour/SNP/LD, Labour/SNP, Labour/SNP/Green, Britain is likely to descend into further political chaos. The government will be due for massive unpopularity, unstable finances and a whole country, Scotland, itching to leave.

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