I know the title of this blog post may not appeal to all, but I feel passionate that politics is something we should all value, its our decision making process and reflects the values and hopes of our communities. This is not a party political post, I never share my vote with anyone, but simply my reflections on this year’s campaign. I did a similar post in 2015 and have found it interesting to read back.
This has been a fragmented campaign and not followed the themes I had expected, it has not been an endorsement or rejection of Brexit whilst the domestic themes of health and education have not featured as highly as social care and policing. There have been two terror attacks in the campaign which have disrupted and altered how campaigns have developed. However I feel all campaigns have felt quite lacklustre and dull. Labour under Corbyn have offered new, promising policies but there is nervousness about costings. May has played a poor campaign, the longer it goes on the less she appears the strong and stable leader she portrays herself as and the campaign lacks substance. The Liberal Democrats were embroiled in a debate from the start about Farron’s religious views and have never recovered whilst UKIP are only a very small player now.
As I try to do every election, I attended my constituency’s hustings, this is such a brilliant opportunity to witness politics and the questions were really thoughtful and relevant. The hustings takes place in our town’s largest community building and is always full. We are not a marginal seat, one of the safest conservative seats in the country but there is respectful and considered debate. Interestingly, our mp who works hard for his constituency, disagreed with many conservative actions and policies because of their direct, negative impact on his constituency as a very large rural area. On issues such as education funding, NHS cuts, public transport links, affordable housing there was a consensus among the panel representing conservatives, labour, liberal democrats and greens. In fact there were few opposing views in the hustings except on Brexit, where our mp was a prominent leave campaigner and the Lib Dem candidate rejected the party line. The standout star of the evening was the Green candidate, he wowed us all and gave us a glimpse of what politics could look like if we moved away from the two party alternation of power. His ideas on health, housing, education were superb and his performance has really had me reflecting on our political system and how we could develop a more collaborative approach to politics. This collaboration was something highlighted by all the candidates to address the real issues facing our country, most notably social care. I was impressed by the Labour candidate too, I think she may be a rising star in the party just not in our constituency.
So now a little prediction for fun! I don’t think the political map will change significantly in this election. The opinion polls have been varied and I think the conservatives will be the largest party but not with the landslide they were predicting at the start of the campaign. I don’t see significant gains for the liberal democrats and think the labour party will actually be even more confused about its future, Corbyn has had a positive campaign and he does have a vision and philosophy which he has shared far more than May. He is a marmite leader but the Labour party needs a leader who unifies. In my little opinion, we’ll have another conservative government but I also think there will be another election before the next scheduled in 2022. I’ll update this post with the results after my all nighter on Thursday, I love election night (well not Brexit night!)