First it was the SNP in crisis, with shock resignations at the very top and police investigations into potential criminal activities. Now it’s Plaid Cymru in deep trouble, with leader Adam Price quitting after a report identified misogyny, harassmentand bullying in the party. The nationalist parties of Scotland and Wales are currently doing themselves no favours as regards winning Westminster seats at the next general election.
UKIP was effectively wiped out as a political force of any kind in the recent local elections, and fringe parties, such as Reclaim, make little progress. Aside from the established opposition parties of Labour and the Liberal Democrats, only the Greens are making significant advances, which could result in more Green MPs alongside Caroline Lucas.
Meanwhile, after a year of turmoil, many Tories appear to have their fingers hovering over the self-destruct button, with supporters of the Right-wing National Conservatism movement criticising and, many say, plotting against Rishi Sunak and his Government. Speakers endorsing far-right, populist policies at the group’s recent three-day event included former ministers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Priti Patel, and the current Home Secretary, Suella Braverman. The Prime Minister’s press secretary said that ministers and members of the party were “free to speak at events where they see fit” but, privately, Sunak must have been seething at such blatant displays of disloyalty to his leadership.
So, could we be heading for huge change in our political landscape, with the far-right on one side and a coalition of centre-leaning or soft-left parties on the other? The polls currently have the combined opposition of Labour, Lib Dems and Greens way ahead of the Tories, and Labour leader Keir Starmer has refused to rule out a coalition with the Lib Dems. He has also declared that he “doesn’t care” if his proposals on ensuring stability, order and security for the country “sound conservative”. For their part, the Lib Dems are unlikely to turn down a chance to return to shared government, but party leader Sir Ed Davey will be ready with a list of demands, including a firm commitment to the long-held Liberal wish for parliamentary proportional representation.