Skip to main content

See also:

Clegg, Cameron, Miliband, and Farage: The new British political landscape

In a radio debate Nigel Farage dominated Nick Clegg foreshadowing the upcoming election.
Photo by WPA Pool/Getty Images

2014 is to be the most important year in determining the 2015 elections and the following five years in the United Kingdom. This year held the European Parliament elections and is to hold the Scottish independence vote. Half of 2015 has been determined already; the EU elections have shown that the Liberal Democrat party under Nick Clegg is either dying or dead already. In 2010 the party came out in third place behind the Labour party, joining with the Conservative party to form the first coalition government in British history. However during the European Parliament elections in May the Liberal Democrats won only a single seat, having lost ten, showing that they had lost their place among the political leadership of Europe and of the UK. But the nature of British politics is for there to be three major parties. The Liberal Democrats lost their seats not to Labour or Conservatives, but to the United Kingdom Independence Party(Ukip) lead by Nigel Farage who gained 11 seats for a total of 24 in the EU. The Ukip platform is only a few main points, they are anti-EU and anti-immigration. In many ways they are the opposites of the Liberal Democrats, going to show just how insolvent the party is, or was.

But what does this shift mean for the Labour and Conservative parties? The first point is clear, David Cameron and the Conservatives have lost their ally, the Liberal Democrats, the only group allowing them to gain control of Britain in the last election. As the next election closes in, it is clear that the Conservatives are going to get fewer seats than Labour, but that does not mean they have lost. Up until now David Cameron has remained a staunch opponent to Ukip, though as it becomes clearer that the party is going to make huge gains in 2015 the Conservatives may become more inclined to befriend them as their only chance to maintain power. Labour on the other hand has no real force to ally with, the only potential being a green party alliance that would have little impact on their number of seats. Clearly Labour will make large gains in the next election, but it will not do anything for them if they don't gain the required majority. Hopeless could be the best word for Labour's position, or it would be if not for the second major election in the UK this year. On September 18 this year the population of Scotland will go out to vote on whether or not to remain in the United Kingdom. This election, which is still highly contested, may be Labour's out and path to a 2015 victory. If the vote is for independence, Labour will have all but secured a majority and the government as the departure of Scotland under David Cameron's government will show to the country that he and the party are not even strong enough to keep the nation together. Labour's only chance for victory has become the failure their and the Conservative's party pro-union campaign in Scotland. All of this shows the true turmoil that exists in the United Kingdom and the complete instability of its government.