UK Electorate Wins Again

The UK electorate has an impressive way of getting what it wants, whatever the newspapers and pollsters may encourage them to believe.

When Margaret Thatcher came to power, can anyone doubt that the UK electorate had had enough of Union Power. They elected a government that would fix that.

When Tony Blair came to power, who can doubt that the UK electorate had had enough of state services being run down – especially schools and hospitals. So the elected a government that would spend on public services.

When David Cameron came to power at the head of a coalition with the Lib Dems, who can doubt that the UK electorate wanted some fiscal sanity to be restored, without the unbridled free markets that the Conservatives offered. So they elected a government of Conservative fiscal rectitude with a Lib Dem restraining hand.

When David Cameron was elected with an absolute majority, who can doubt that the UK electorate wanted the EU referendum, to cure this chronic ailment in British politics. So, in 2015 they elected the only party offering that referendum. In 2010 the Lib Dems were the only party offering an EU referendum, but by 2015 they had lost their way in a blaze of red boxes and ministerial limousines.

And last week? Who can doubt that the UK electorate has had enough of the kind of austerity where the rich get ever richer whilst the rest get poorer. Jeremy Corbyn offered hope of a fairer society. But the UK electorate had no appetite for 1970’s style socialism. So they elected a minority Conservative government that will maintain some fiscal sense, constrained to do so in a fairer way.

And what of Brexit, in what was initially dubbed as the “Brexit Election”? The UK electorate knew better. In 2015, of the 650 MP’s elected, nine (9) were for Brexit (DUP [8] and UKIP [1]) and 641 were for Remain. In 2017, 591 are for Brexit and just 59 are for Remain (SNP [35], Lib Dem [12], Sin Fein [7], Plaid Cymru [4] and Green [1]). As soon as the election was called the UK electorate knew it would return a parliament overwhelmingly in favour of implementing Brexit. So they were free to vote on other matters.

Would any of this have been different under some form of proportional representation? Given the impressive ability of the UK electorate to get its way under First Past The Post, it has to be likely that they would work out how to get their way under any other system. The wisdom of crowds is a wonderful thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *