Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A note on the UK elections

I am badly out of touch with UK politics. However, I have been watching the last stages of the campaign with a degree of interest. The latest rolling poll results have Labour on 32%, the Conservatives on 31%, UKIP on 17%, the Liberal Democrats on 8%, the Greens and Other each on 6%. Presumably other includes the Scottish National Party as well as the smaller Welsh Plaid Cymru.

I knew that UKIP was polling well, but hadn't realised that their vote was as high as that. The UK optional first past the post system makes results very hard to call unless you know the seats. For example, in Scotland the SNP is threatening remaining Labour seats, while the high UKIP vote need not translate into seats. It depends where that vote is concentrated.

This is the current party position in the House of Commons.



Liberal Democrat56
Democratic Unionist8
Scottish National6
Sinn Fein5
Plaid Cymru3
Social Democratic & Labour Party3
UK Independence Party2
Total number of seats650
This is quite an important election, for the UK is dealing with a very mixed bag of political trends: pro and anti-European sentiment, distrust of the major parties and the rise of conflicting nationalisms. It will be interesting to watch the results.


Winton Bates said...

Hi Jim
Have you come across any good articles about the policies of UKIP. From the little I have read, their electoral appeal seems to be based on opposition to EU and immigration.

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Winton. Their web site suggests both of those plus a strong dose of left/right populism. http://www.ukip.org/news

UKIP are especially targeting Northern England. Thinking about that as well as patterns elsewhere, I should write something on the overall pattern because it is relevant to Australia.

Winton Bates said...

Thanks Jim.