Holding out for a hero

For almost 100 years British politics has been dominated by two parties, Labour and Conservative. Last time a party had a greater vote share than either of them, it was in 1906. That is literally closer to the Battle of Waterloo than it is to now. And yet the future of these titans is looking rather…Titanic. Neither party seems to have much in the way of a future. The favourites for the next Tory leader are Amber Rudd and Michael Gove. But Rudd’s most successful role was as an aristocracy coordinator for the film Four Weddings and a Funeral, while Gove has made a career out of being put in different cabinet positions and doing an awful job.

Although Labour have a number of viable candidates, many are unable to reconcile all the wings of their party in a way that only Blair has done in recent memory.

The fact is Corbyn and May aren’t exactly inspiring when considering how they’ve performed in their current roles, but the problem is who else is there?

One option for a third party is ‘United for Change’, essentially an anti-Westminster party set up by ex-Labour donor Simon Franks. This centrist party appears to aim to seek out and snap up the disenfranchised voters of the modern age. Now while the name isn’t particularly inspiring and we don’t know that much about them, with the kind of funding and intelligence they have behind them, it’s actually plausible that they make some sort of headway into Westminster at the next election. Still, it does seem rather unlikely for now.

The two parties to make significant headway in recent years in terms of vote share are UKIP and the Lib Dems. Yet the Lib Dems are continuing to recover from the 2010 coalition and their broken promises, and UKIP couldn’t convert votes into seats owing to the First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) system.

Within the current system these smaller parties don’t have much of a chance. But for the larger parties, all is not lost. Just as Blair rose for Labour during the awful years in the 80s and Cameron came from the poor performances of the turn of the millennium Conservatives, it’s possible that the next great political operator (great in ability, not in agenda) is right around the corner.

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Matt Branston

Comment Editor - 2019/20

Co-Deputy Editor - 2020/21

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January 2022
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