A party powering back to office should have won. After all it’s a seat that they held for 13 years until 2010. Ok not quiet on the same boundaries, but nevertheless a party aspiring to government come May should have done better than limp into third place.
Labour’s traditional working class voters feel let down and are turning to the new kid on the block, UKIP. Not so much an ideological conversion but a “sod you all” protest vote.
A massive miscalculation was made in strategy. They had been working on the assumption that Ukip, by splitting the vote on the right, would gift Labour enough seats to steer them into government.
Wrong. Power has to be earned. It doesn’t fall into any party’s lap, like apples from a tree.
For it isn’t only Tory voter that are seduced by Ukip but as Labour has belated discovered, their voters too. Ok, not to the same degree but nevertheless in sufficient numbers to undermine Labour getting the keys to Number Ten by default.
Politics enters a new phase it’s goodbye the two party system and its hello multi-party politics. The combined polling share of Labour and the Tories has rarely been so low. The House of Commons, since the arrival of Ukip, has 12 parties and three independents.
The proponents of the first past the post election system argued that it worked. It provided the basis for a strong government. Oh yes, a strong government and waiting in the wings an opposition party ready to take office. Tweedledum and tweedledee, politics.
Well, it’s no longer so. The duopoly has gone. Now the voting system needs to change to reflect this.
Moving away from a system where a handful of seats decide who’s in or out of government would put the power back where it belongs in the hands of all the voters wherever they live.
Labour for instance might start thinking about the voters living in its heartland rather than Mondeo man and Worcester woman.
Elections should be about winning the votes of all the country and not a handful of fickle electors in marginal seats.