My quick reflections from the awful General Election result are these:
1) Labour utterly failed to inspire the electorate that they were worth voting for. Labour lost the election rather than the Tories winning it. Labour now faces a real crisis as it struggles to comprehend its shocking failure to defeat the most reactionary government of my lifetime. It is likely to lurch further to the Right.
2) Where a clear unambiguous bold alternative was presented to the electorate, it was extremely successful – the SNP’s incredible result in Scotland and Caroline Lucas’ stunning victory with a hugely increased majority in Brighton Pavilion proves the point.
3) The old two-party politics is dead. The defining image of the election campaign was the 7 party leaders in their TV debate. The SNP now dominate Scottish politics. The Greens, Plaid Cymru and UKIP are now serious political forces.
4) There is a clear democratic deficit in electoral politics in the UK. At the time of writing this blog, UKIP had 3.5 million votes and the Greens 1 million – 16% of the electorate but with just 2 (or 3) seats between them. This is clearly undemocratic and the push for PR will grow.
5) The radical anti-austerity forces in the UK are much stronger than ever before but they desperately need to work closely together. The Greens, the SNP and Plaid Cymru and the Labour and Trade Union Left and the Peoples Assembly need to unite round clear anti-austerity goals.