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Why is everyone discounting, say, the Green Party as a "third party" in England?

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 04:18:02 AM EST
Because you can't get there from here.

FPP politics, in a country as conservative as Britain at least, requires historical incumbency. The libs aren't going away : on balance, it suits the two bigger parties to have a buffer between them.

The inertia in FFP is huge. The historical precedent of the emergence of Labour, pushing the libs into third party status, was only possible because it coincided with the introduction of universal suffrage.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 05:07:34 AM EST
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England is not Europe™.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 05:39:11 AM EST
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The Green Party has a few patches of support. It has, at least, managed to win one parliamentary seat. This suggests that the Greens have got a better idea than UKIP, that you need to concentrate efforts to win seats in a first past the post system.

However the Green Party has not, so far at least, demonstrated any major increase in support since the coalition was formed. They are not challenging for the status of the English third (and Welsh fourth) party.

I would have thought that UKIP have wider, but thinly spread, support. They also do not seem to be mounting a serious challenge, at the UK Parliament level, to the Liberal Democrats third placed party status.

by Gary J on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 07:49:21 AM EST
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The UKIP are more of a threat to the Tories than Labour or even the Lib Dems.

They're supported by head-banging elderly tabloid readers, and they have a veneer of sophistication which the various overtly racist parties have never been able to acquire.

If Cameron had drifted leftwards there would have been some high profile Tory defections. Now that the coalition is creaking the risk seems to be lessening, but there could still be some UK IP scalps in a general election - especially if the Cleggeron attempts to patch things up by making someone like Cable chancellor.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 08:07:27 AM EST
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The problem for UKIP is that there's no real will on the right to replace the Conservatives with UKIP MPs. (I think they have a better chance regarding MEPs.)

Without some defections, any constituency that looks like tipping to UKIP will see huge investment from Tory funders to make sure that the Tory wins...

As such, it's very hard for UKIP to gain MPs as they have little support in non-Tory areas.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 01:45:20 PM EST
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