Something rather unexpected has happened in British politics this week, and the matter in question took place in David Cameron’s kitchen. Whilst the subject concerning politicians kitchens has managed to linger in the media, it is what came out of David Cameron’s lips that is lingering evermore. When asked by the BBC’ deputy political editor James Lansdale whether Cameron would seek a third term should he ‘win’ the election, he responded with ’“I won’t seek third term as prime minister”. In a broad departure from his former 3-term predecessors, such as Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, Cameron has signalled his departure to make room for “a fresh pair of eyes” by 2020, assuming that he stays on in his role as Prime Minister.
Interestingly, he gave away three names; George Osborne, Theresa May and of course Boris Johnson. With a large deal of speculation surrounding Boris Johnson at the forefront of the party It leads one to wonder whether some sort of ‘Blair-Brown’ deal has taken place between Cameron and Johnson. Nevertheless, the leadership contest for the Conservative Party of 2020 has started, with little regard to who will be leading Labour or the Liberal Democrats in under two months time. What can be said is that the Conservatives are looking more and more confident as the weeks roll by, although depending on who you ask, it can be said that they look arrogant at the same time.
The Tories are definitely playing on their strengths when it comes to attacking Ed Miliband, further exemplifying their confidence. This week, an attack animation was released showing Alex Salmond playing what looks like a recorder whilst Ed Miliband performs a jig to his tune. This plays on the threat of a Labour-SNP pact, even though Miliband has effectively ruled out any sort of deal with Alex Salmond- nevertheless the threat of such an alliance has turned out to be the Tories secret weapon. Who in England would honestly want Nicola Sturgeon or Alex Salmond in a government ruling over the entire country? Not many. Yet Miliband needs to be able to stand up and fight against this if he has any chance to claw back at the Conservatives. He needs to start using strong rhetoric, to prove that he has the balls to run the country and run it well, and he only has a few weeks left to start playing his cards right.
In spite of Ed Miliband’s alleged “wet lettuce persona”, nothing is shifting in the polls. Every day we get a fresh batch of opinion polls, from Survation to Lord Ashcroft to YouGov. Some days we see Labour up 1%, others we see the Conservatives down 1%, sometimes it’s the other way round. Often the two parties are neck and neck. What on earth is going on? Britain has never wished for a hung parliament, so why are we failing to get behind a party leader? We can’t blame the state of the economy, as it is on the mend. Even when the economy was in a state back in 2010 we still delivered a hung parliament, so we can rule out that a major part of politics is not blame for a hung parliament.
Lack of choice has been cited as a concern for failing to deliver a majority in parliament, and this argument could be feasible. Ideologically speaking, we can argue that both Labour and the Conservatives have drifted towards the centre ground, especially after the 1997 General Election. If one of these major parties had proposed a sudden jump to the left or the right, then this could be an overt gamble towards electoral failure. Perhaps politics in Britain is all about playing it safe on ideological terms. It probably would not make too much of a difference whether Osborne, May, or Johnson were to be elected as the next leader of the Conservative Party. It is just another face, in a very stable and bland political system.
By Stuart Chapman, Senior Writer for Daily Political View.