Posts Tagged ‘Oliver Wiseman’

VAL 2015 | Väljarna har i allt större utsträckning börjat vända de etablerade partierna ryggen i Storbritannien.

Standpoint April 2015 Issue 71

Av den anledningen har Conservative Party och Labour tvingats inse att valkampanjen måste bedrivas lika mycket lokalt och regionalt som nationellt.

Men frågan är om småpartierna, p.g.a. valsystemet, kan förvandla de många röster man antar att de kommer att få till mer än bara några symboliska mandat. Undantaget här är möjligtvis SNP som kan ta hem hela Skottland.

Men oavsett om väljarna tycker att de två stora har blivit allt för lika varandra eller om det handlar om att de inte tycker sig få svar på sina frågor kan det mycket väl ändå bli så att de två stora partierna fortsätter dominera, om än med färre mandat, via ännu en koalitionsregering.

Ingen tror nämligen idag att vare sig Labour eller de konservativa kommer att vinna så pass många röster att det kan bilda en egen majoritetsregering.

I sitt temanumret inför valet skriver Oliver Wiseman, Assistant Editor på tidskriften Standpoint, om hur politiken i landet har förändrats sedan 1950-talet.

One of just two men will be Prime Minister after May 7. In that sense this election is a two-horse race. In every other respect, Britain is in for a messy, multi-dimensional and unpredictable few weeks, after which the country might wake up on May 8 knowing little more than it knew the night before. The process by which Britain resolves the contest between the two candidates for the top job will, to a greater extent than in any election in living memory, be a local rather than national process. Of course, the fierce national debate (televised or not) between Labour and the Conservatives and their respective visions for the country rages on. But an unprecedented proportion of voters are listening to someone else: above all, UKIP and the Greens in England, and the SNP in Scotland. Both UKIP and the SNP have won considerable support by connecting people’s problems to membership of a union, the former a European one, the latter a British one. Can the insurgents live up to their own high expectations on polling day?


British politics has changed. In the 1955 general election, the high-water mark of the two-party system, 96 per cent of the votes cast went to either Labour or the Conservatives. Just one other party, Clement Davies’s Liberals, won more than one per cent of the national vote and there were only four parties—Sinn Fein being the other—in the House of Commons. By contrast, in 2010, Labour and the Conservatives won a combined share of the vote of just 65 per cent and today there are 12 parties represented in the Commons.

It is no coincidence that 1955 was the year the swingometer made its debut on the BBC’s election coverage. The two-party system meant that the ups and downs of the campaign, the mood of different corners of the country and the strengths or weaknesses of a party leader’s speech mattered only insofar as they affected one thing: the swing. But the TV graphic has become less useful with each election since its debut. In 2015, it is moribund. Election battles are now fought on too many fronts to be encapsulated in the shift of one arrow to the left or the right. Once May 7 and its choppy wake has passed, both Labour and the Conservatives, if they hope to ever form a majority government again, must ask themselves why large swathes of the electorate hate them so much and why parties they dismissed as amateurish flashes in the pan are suddenly doing so well.

Tidskriftsomslag; Standpoint, april 2015.

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