And so it came to pass that the people of Bradford West did deem it best served there interests to return George ‘the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life’ Galloway as their member of Parliament. There has been a lot of analysis of this event in the press today, I have three main thoughts on this matter.
First, much as I despise then man and everything he stands for, his success is worthy of respect (no pun intended!) and a clear example for small parties and independents of how to win a campaign. Like the Greens showed in 2010, focus on a seat where your supporters are numerous and throw all your resources at it. It will be interesting to see if other parties can pull this off in future, and we should ask which areas are most fertile for Libertarian candidates.
Secondly despite it being dismissed as a one-off I think that the 3 main parties are in a death spiral and will continue to haemorrhage support. There is also a problem of the balkanization of the UK – SNP in Scotland, Labour in Northern England and Conservatives in Southern England. It will be increasingly difficult for any one party to form a government in future, and the lack of competition in their home territories will lead to further apathy.
Finally Ed Miliband’s position looking very uncertain, if Ken looses to Boris in May I doubt he will be leader by the end of the year. The outcome of the next General election is his to lose, and Labour are coming round to the fact. If he is replaced I can’t see the Tories winning in 2015 (most likely scenario IMO is Lib-dem wipeout and Labour biggest party, forming a pact with the Nationalists and maybe Greens)
As usual interesting times ahead