The election results have highlighted how politically divided this country is. No one political party can claim to represent the entire nation anymore. In the South outside of London, the Labour Party has almost been totally wiped out, but yet they still remain very successful in the North and the major cities. The Tories are currently dominant in the South and in the Midlands, but are still struggling to make any inroads in the North. Both major parties also now have very limited representation in Scotland.
This could simply be seen as a nuance of the political system that we have. Under this current electoral system you only need 326 seats to win a majority. It does not matter where these seats are located in the country and all that matters is that you win the required amount of seats to form a government.
In much of the country voters feel they are now being represented by a government they did not vote for. If the result had been different and the Labour Party was in power, the feeling would still be the same. This is only going to cause disillusionment amongst many voters. If a party has no representation in specific parts of the country, then it is going to be harder for that party to understand the needs and concerns of these voters.
Both parties appear to accept this is a problem and are trying to solve this. The Tories are attempting to make inroads through the organisation Renewal and the idea and aims around the concept of the Northern Powerhouse. The Labour leadership candidates also appear to understand the difficulties that they are facing in many areas of the country and are all claiming to be the candidate who can change this.
This is a long term issue for both parties and one which has serious implications not just for the parties but for the country as a whole. Our political system would appear to be fairer, if a political party had wider support across the country as a whole and not just pockets of concentrated support. It is clear what the problem is, but the solution may be somewhat more difficult and that is the challenge for our political parties.
Article by Mike Hough