Forget the polls: all this talk of a “progressive” alliance should tell you what the election result will be when we wake up on June 9th.
This is so blindingly obvious, it is astounding that people on the left and centre-left don’t see it. The only way to get any variety of left-wing government is to have a strong Labour party. The only thing the Greens, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Lib Dems and all other smaller parties are going to achieve is taking votes from Labour, thus helping to ensure a Conservative victory.
Even if this were a viable strategy – which it isn’t under the First-Past-the-Post system – you would end up with an extremely unstable government. The Lib Dems would want social democracy, Labour would want redistribution, the Greens would want strong policies protecting the environment, the SNP & Plaid Cymru would want to push for secession. You would end up with a government unable to agree on its program and the individual parties unable to deliver on their core policies. A “coalition of chaos” as the Tories put it. Imagine a Brexit negotiation with this government.
For there to be serious talk of multi-party politics, there would need to be a replacement of the FPTP system. It isn’t clear, however, that the alternatives would be more desirable. Proportional representation would give too much power to the third party, most likely the Lib Dems. The Alternative Vote system would confuse voters. For all its faults, people understand FPTP.
In any case, the country voted against AV a few years ago and both systems would have the problems of delivering unstable coalition governments, as highlighted. One of the key selling points of FPTP, despite its flaws, is that it has by and large delivered stability.
I’ve always questioned the intelligence of people who waste their time with some of the smaller parties. The reality is, in this election we see a united right against a divided left. We can all see logically how this is going to end, right?