Even though I’m now living in Ireland the UK election continues to fascinate me. The leaders debates for politics geeks like me have been fascinating – which doesn’t mean to say some of the content has been pretty dull.
Last year I was really impressed by Cameron and the Conservative party – it really did seem that they were changing, but over the last few months that impression has faded quickly as I’ve heard more about Lord Ashcroft, and as it has become obvious that they still are a party of the elite. I know I’ve always had a left lean which to me is to do with a book that I read that talks about justice and equality so I may be slightly biased but I do feel increasing affinity for the Lib Dems. Especially after the very obvious Murdoch Media Tory supporting papers launching a series of smears against Nick Clegg, and James Murdoch bursting into the office of the Independent editor outraged at the “Rupert Murdoch won’t decide this election – You will” ad.
Then I read this article from Johann Hari suggesting that the UK electorate is more left than the governments we tend to elect. Obviously there is some of his spin on it but it does make you think:
Britain is a country with a large liberal-left majority. Eighty-five per cent of us say the gap between rich and poor should be “much smaller”, and a majority would get there by introducing a maximum wage that caps the incomes of the rich at £135,000 a year.
Fifty-eight per cent support a dramatic increase in the minimum wage. Fifty-eight per cent want to ditch Trident – an act of unilateral nuclear disarmament. Seventy-seven per cent want to bring the troops home from Afghanistan now, or within a year at the latest. Fifty-three per cent say people come out of prison worse than they go in, and would rather spend money on more youth clubs than on more prison places.
Across most policies, our views are to the left of all three parties. (These statistics are all from Mori, Ipsos or YouGov polls.)
A liberal playing the statistics. Maybe. but then there is the Vote for Policies not Personalities website, which gives you a variety of policy areas and the policies from 6 parties without telling you which is which, until you’ve chosen in all the categories you select. their results so far would back up Hari’s assertion:
Even more fascinating is the Vote for Policies vote breakdown on policy areas:
Sky News spinning of the results giving Cameron the debate does make you wonder if Sky is becoming a UK Fox as Murdoch manipulates the press – even the Sun suppressed poll data showing people polled feared a Lib Dem government less than Labour or Tory. Will this be the election when the freedom of the internet and social media lands a blow to the big boys who traditionally spin elections?
Is the UK population more left than we’re led to believe or is this just a ploy by the left wing media?
Just so you know, having never really considered Liberal Democrats before I came out 66.6% Liberal Democrat, 33.3% Green… so maybe I’m just spinning it my way…