As the clock lurches towards the UK general election slated for May the 7th, it looks like the traditional centre ground of politics is not holding. The rise of the anti immigrant and anti-European UK independence party with its incessant calls for immigration curbs and for the UK to abandon the European union, most voters in the UK are approaching the General Election with those two signature issues on their minds.
Traditionally, voters in the UK were beholden to three mainstream parties: the conservatives, labour and the liberal democrats. Moderation, acceptance and tolerance were the hitherto accepted norms within the UK political discourses. With the entry of UKIP, the rise of nationalistic fervour, anti immigrant and European Union bashing have all the hallmarks of a dangerous shift to the right and the shifting underneath of the political quicksand.
Although polls indicate that the labour party long associated for championing the rights of workers and welcoming immigrants may hold sway in the closely contested election, it looks like labour may have to walk a long walk before turning things around. With the economy showing signs of a turn around and with most conservative pundits feeling chaffed, the conservatives may well emerge victorious but that would not stifle out fringe parties like UKIP who although right wing, have repositioned to portray themselves as occupying the centre ground.
The problem with the centre ground is that labour is trying to sound more like a liberal party with a dash of conservatism much to the amusement of UKIP who now want to occupy the centre ground after catching flak with many people for their perceived racism and immigrant blame game.
The shifting of the political centre ground away from the clutches of traditional labour has been aided by the resurgent press in the UK and the voter's mind is now preoccupied by the two key issues of Europe and Immigration, although there are other emotive issues such as the National Health Service (NHS) and how the frankly diabolical long waiting times in the hospitals and GP's can be addressed. #Election 2015