The UK general election is being held on 7th May 2015 and according to the Polls it is very close. Probably a bit too close for comfort for the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party has another enemy other than the UK Labour Party. That enemy is the United Kingdom Independence Party, or UKIP.
UKIP has definitely found a way into UK politics and many traditional tories are throwing their support behind this new brand of (in my opinion) conservatism. The British people, and traditional grassroots conservatives have had enough of the status quo. After talking to a few people in the UK whilst I was over there last year, they have felt that the Conservative Party have sold them out and are now withdrawing their support from the Conservative Party and going to UKIP. This is not surprising, and nor should it to the leadership of the Conservative Party. When you have rank and file Conservative members forming a new division within the Party called ‘Grassroots Conservative’ (http://grassrootsconservatives.org.uk) you got to ask yourself “where are we going wrong?”
As I look at UK statistics under the Conservative/LibDem Government it appears more people are in work, budget is under control and economic growth is slowly improving therefore despite the status quo, rank and file members should be proud of the achievements of their Party and those defecting to UKIP should probably think twice.
In Australia, the voting system used for the House of Representatives – the House where Government is formed, is preferential system of voting. A voter can vote for a candidate and place his or her preference to another candidate should their first preference doesn’t get enough votes. In the UK, the system used is first past the post. Therefore you only vote 1 for your candidate of choice and if they don’t get anywhere, your vote is exhausted.
The problem with the rise of UKIP, which according to the Polls is receiving 14% of the vote, it takes away votes from the Conservatives, basically it is splitting the conservative vote. This affectively gives the UK Labour Party an advantage to gain enough seats to Govern, except that the UK Labour Party have problems of their own with the rise of the Scottish National Party. A story for another day perhaps.
Whatever the results on the 7th May 2015, the Conservative Party needs to tackle the issue of UKIP. They need to address why people are defecting to UKIP and they need to adopt grassroot policy initiatives otherwise they will be out in the political wilderness for a very long time.