Friday, February 11, 2011

The end of British multipartism?

YouGov gives Labour a 9 point lead in the polls: Labour 44, Conservatives 35, Lib Dems 10%. So Labour is only one point behind the coalition parties together.

The fun thing about all this is that after 30 years of Britain drifting toward multiparty government, the first experience of a coalition has led voters to relocate themselves in the two opposed party camps, just like in the glory days of the two-party system. Whether of not this will persist is anybody's guess. But the electoral risks to the Lib Dems are high, and the success of the Lib Dems since the early 1970s is the main reason the UK has been looking more like a multiparty system. If Clegg wrecks the Lib Dems as a vehicle for voter discontent with the establishment, that will be a big deal.