The formation of The Independent Group from a cohort of centrist MPs could signal the eventual end of the two-party system in the UK.
The British party system is unique to parliamentary politics because of the dual monopoly that the two largest parties have traditionally held on power and the resulting scarcity of power coalitions. The general left-right framework has changed little since it evolved into its modern form in the mid-19th century, with Labor’s usurpation of the Liberal Party on the left in the 1920s being the only significant change.
Impact on contemporary politics
The recent training of The Independent Group (TIG) thus signals a notable development in British politics, and it could well shape political society in the United Kingdom (United Kingdom) after Brexit.
The group was formed on February 18, 2019, by a cohort of seven centrist Labor MPs (possibly joined by an eighth) unhappy with the party’s opposition to a second referendum, accusations of widespread anti-Semitism and its shift to the left since Jeremy’s election Corbyn as a leader in 2015.
Renegade Labor were joined days later, by three centrist Conservative MPs who left their own party to oppose its right-wing turn since the Brexit referendum, the growing influence of the hard-line European Research Group (ERG) and to their opposition to the party’s nonchalant stance towards a no-deal Brexit.
The defection of the centrists necessarily exposes the parties to their most extreme elements, and the two leaders have already reacted to this new challenge. After months of appeasing the far left and firmly supporting the initial referendum result, Corbyn recently threw his support behind the moderate wing push for a second referendum. Likewise, May scorned the hard-right and announced that if her withdrawal deal failed in parliament next month, a vote would be called for explicitly reject a no-deal Brexit. Both movements are marked deviations from the leaders’ long-standing positions. However, they align with TIG’s interests and are clear overtures to their respective moderates in an effort to avoid further defections.
It is difficult to predict what this will mean for all of British politics in the long term. The TIG is not a formal political party and has no official leadership, and although members have suggested this could change in the coming weeks, it is not yet clear what form it will take or if it may even attract more defections from the main parties. Always, Opportunities exist for significant growth.
Most of his fundamental political positions align perfectly with those of the Liberal Democrats (including their centrist ideological approach, opposition to Brexit, and support for a second referendum), and an alliance could turn them into a legitimate parliamentary force virtually overnight. A recent Times Opinion Poll suggests that 18 percent of voters prefer TIG to all other parties and 6 percent prefer Liberal Democrats. While still a far cry from the 36 percent the Tories enjoy, the combined numbers put them at the borderline of the 23 percent of Labor who, if reproduced in a general election, could force them to form a coalition government. Other polls have reported similar numbers.
Of course, one should be careful not to judge the future on the basis of an early (and narrow) data set, and the major parties may have already held back short-term growth in parliament by moving closer to ‘common ground. Nonetheless, it is clear that the political center remains a powerful force in British politics and if there is an alignment between TIG and the Liberal Democrats, this would likely pose a serious challenge to the two traditional parties after Brexit. This is especially true if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal in March, diminishing the powers of government of the two main parties and making it more likely that voters will seek a third alternative.
Getting back to the subject of the opening paragraph, the emergence of a legitimate third candidate would fundamentally realign UK politics as it would make it much more difficult (and therefore much less likely) for a party to win a majority in Parliament. Parties would then have to rely more and more on the support of small parties to exercise real authority. While all of this hinges on the emergence of a viable (far from guaranteed) TIG-Liberal-Democrat bloc, the creation of TIG itself is important as it could represent the first step towards overthrowing the traditional system of government. dual party and the creation of a more diverse political system. conversation in the post-Brexit era.