The next generation: rising stars for 2015
General Elections in the United Kingdom may appear to be a single national contest between the Conservatives and Labour as to which party will form the next government. A few decades ago, little extra explanation was required – the national movement between the two main parties would determine who won the relatively small number of marginal seats that were closely contested between the parties, and therefore who would have a majority in parliament.
The picture in 2015 is only superficially similar.
Barring a political event of asteroid-strike level of improbability, either Ed Miliband or David Cameron will be the tenant of Downing Street after the 2015 election (and quite possibly a period of coalition negotiations). But on the ground, much is different. One of the two parties has to win, but winning is not what it was, and neither are the two parties. They are hollowed out as social institutions capable of commanding loyalty among the public. The national contest between the reds and the blues is not like Chelsea v Manchester United at the height of their powers, more like a mid-table end of season Ipswich Town v Blackburn Rovers match in a half-empty stadium with a crowd eyeing the exit gates.
Both major parties seek an overall majority. But the 20 gains the Conservatives need, and the 68 Labour needs, are very hard to find when one looks at the constituencies they would have to be winning in order to form that majority government. Expectations have increasingly focused on the likelihood of a second hung parliament.
But what sort of hung parliament is it likely to be? And who are going to be the MPs taking part? Who would be Ed Miliband’s back bench supporters and who would be ministers in his government by 2020? And which of the new Conservative entrants are the stars of the future?
Find out in this report for Westbourne Communications.