Saturday, July 13, 2024
Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Things Can Only Get Worse

Tom Slater
Spiked, July 3, 2024
 
“Should Labour return to power tomorrow, Britain looks set to be remade – once again – in the image of our deranged cultural elites.”
 
We at spiked have spent a good chunk of this UK General Election campaign lamenting how devoid of substance, principle, or even a flicker of charisma, are the two main challengers for 10 Downing Street. Watching outgoing Tory PM Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Keir Starmer duke it out on TV has often resembled a bank manager arguing with a head teacher – and been about as enlightening. The sense that we have returned to the pre-2016 factory settings of British politics, in which big ideas are anathema and both parties are wedded to the same failed orthodoxies, has been palpable.

But that is not to say that the widely expected Labour landslide is somehow a non-event. For one thing, the Conservative Party – if the more dire polls are roughly accurate – could be about to be destroyed as a viable party of government. The latest YouGov MRP ‘mega-poll’ has Labour on 431 seats, with the largest majority for any single party since 1832, and the Conservatives on 102 seats. Even the more optimistic projections for the Tories – putting them on around 150 seats – would be worse than their worst-ever result, back in 1906.

This is testament to the volatile times we live in. Voters are more up for grabs – and more up for abandoning their traditional political homes – than ever before. For much of the past century, Labour and the Conservatives could, even at their lowest ebb, each count on roughly a third of the electorate to stick by them, bound to them by class interest and deep party identification. But no more. Brexit scrambled the old loyalties. The same volatility that gave us an 80-seat Tory majority in 2019, secured by the mass defection of working-class, former Labour voters, could be about to lay the Tories low.

 … [To read the full article, click here] 

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