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National parties no more

28 February 2015

2:10 PM

28 February 2015

2:10 PM

All the election forecast models agree, the next election result is going to be remarkably tight. On these models, neither Labour nor the Tories are going to come close to winning a majority. They would both be about 40 seats short.

Now, events could intervene to change things. But, as I argue in the magazine this week, one of the reasons Labour and the Tories are finding it so hard to win a majority is that they are not national parties anymore. Compounding this is that no party is aiming for full spectrum dominance in this campaign. Rather, they are trying to talk up the issues that are best for them and worst for their opponents. So, you hear the Tories talking about their long term economic plan and leadership. While Labour want the debate to be focused on the NHS and fairness.

These strategies might make sense on their own terms. But they do show how limited the electoral ambitions of our two main parties now are.


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