Squeezed and disappointed middle class looking far and beyond polarised party politics – Opinium research puts the reality into figures: 50% of British voters want a new centre-ground party

London, 23 Feb. 2019 – If the political crisis due to Brexit might ever bring something positive to Britain, this might be a radical change in its political spectrum: people are fed up with conflicting, inconsistent, polarised and disappointing party politics. Especially the middle class facing from 2010 the economic decay led by austerity, botch housing and property market and a pseudo-liberal system which let down medium and small businesses, progressive, creative, intellectual and liberal professions.

Latest years’ dynamics within the two main parties made clear to workers, families and those who we might traditionally call bourgeoisie that their values, interests, views and ideas are not represented: neither by the elitist/populist, substantially repressive and two-faced Janus Conservatives, nor by Unite trade unionists and Momentum hard socialists led Labour leadership.

These are some of the main reasons the recent defections from both Labour and Tories and the newborn Independent Group are having such a great positive response from the wider public.

Opinium Election Polling Centre issued new figures showing a “large amount of voter enthusiasm for a potential new party, but offers a challenge to this week’s defectors that they will need to develop a distinctive offer to stand any chance of success”.

The need for a centre-ground political party in figures:

This latest research by Opinium, commissioned by Progressive Centre UK found that half (50%) of UK adults think there is a need for a new centre-ground political party in Britain and, looking at political parties: over half (51%) of Labour voters expressed the need for a new centre ground party

Also 75% of the Liberal Democrats membership confirmed their interest into a new centre and this prospects a possible merger with the new Independent Group. If that would be the case, a new centre-ground would count, as yet, 22 MPs: a new force able to drive consensus within the Parliament over an auspicable exit from the dangerous Brexit meanwhile impacting politics before next general elections.

Back to Opinium:

some voters think a new party could displace either Conservatives or Labours as one of the largest groupings in parliament: a fifth (19%) of UK adults think the party could become a sizeable third party in Parliament at the next general election. However, a quarter (24%) think the party could supplant one of the two major parties by becoming either the Official Opposition (13%) or coming first in a general election (11%).

But, the majority of voters think the new centre should aim to be an ‘entirely new party’ (54%) rather than trying to simply replace one of the current major parties (29%). This confirms the need for new political forces filling the gap between governing elites, influent lobbies and entire slices of society, millions of people, not currently represented, nor in their urgent will to stop the Brexit or in their request for change in politics either.

The findings suggest two possible radical transformations in the British politics in a long term view :

the first is the overcoming of the two-party system and a the shift to a new structure of houses of Parliament in which the binary pattern or government vs opposition plus marginal smallest parties and groups will give way to a more open spectrum of political forces corresponding to the multiple slices of the British society.

The second is a possible change of the electoral system in which a proportional election will replace the current first-past-the-post which, though guaranteeing direct democracy, is widely criticised because MPs representing each constituency might not get elected backed by the majority of votes, while, on the contrary, with the proportional representation system only the majority of votes would make a candidate enter the Parliament, but the choice of one MP would be less direct as votes will first go the party and not to the candidate.

Whatever the future might be, political views within the British society are changing and something urges this change to happen before the first step outside the EU will drag us deep down the bottom.

@Emymuzzi