The Changing Wills of the British Public

3 years ago Britons went to the polls in an election dominated by the idea of Brexit and the future of the UK in Europe, there were many other aspects of society that were at play among the parties. Now three years later

3 years ago, Britons went to the polls in an election dominated by the idea of Brexit and the future of the UK in Europe, there were many other aspects of society that were at play among the parties. Now three years later, Britons return to the polls with many of the same themes dominating the public discussion, and in the case of Brexit tempers have continued to run high with all parties wanting to “fix” Brexit in their own way. 

However, while the themes that dominate the discussion primarily remain the same the platforms and policies that are being discuses have changed in the slant, with all major parties promising significant increases to social services, especially the NHS, and to national infrastructure.  A stark difference to 3 years ago when even Labour only promised minor increases, and all other parties pushed for further austerity in the uncertainty.  

During the 2017 election the centre-right conservative party enjoying a surge in popularity in fringe voters on the wave of a receding UKIP, saw in their manifesto and policy a more heavily right leaning angle than seen in previous elections.  During the election they promised to increase police powers and funding and review state control and the reach of both mass media and social media platforms as well as to reduce the influence and power of social services, such as state pensions.  They also joined one of the major points found among right wing parties during the Brexit campaign of the idea that Britain was suffering from out of control immigration, and on this they promised caps and more restrictive legislation on immigration and for a period refused to comment on the future of EU nationals in the UK. 

Now in 2019 with Brexit remaining the headline issue all 3 of the major parties have taken a turn for the left on the backs of labours major gains in the 2017 election and the resurgence of the right wing anti-EU parties in the last EU general election in this summer that saw the Tories loose a significant number of their seats to the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party. 

Through there manifestos and campaign promises all of the major parties have announced tax raises major increases to social services, engaging almost in a bidding war on how much more funding and staffing would be added to the NHS.  Two of the major parties have also increased calls for greater nationalisation of utilities and transport something that was in many cases a pipe dream last election.  It has also seen the Lib Dems more confidently positioning themselves as a reasonable middle ground opened by the moves to the extremes on both sides of the aisle, as while the Tories pledge greater social services, they also continue with plans of restrictions on immigration and lack of commitments on dealing with common social issues, such as poverty and education.

While Brexit remains a major issue for all voters, and the shifts in party support and attempts to gather more voters will result partially in some of the shift the three years of protests and discontent over the policies or inaction that has been seen to address social issues by the government has forced all of the parties to pledge greater and more significant welfare state policies. 

Therefore while the Conservatives seem to demonstrate a comfortable lead in the polls the last election proves that such a lead is no guarantee and the effectiveness of the labour to run their campaign or the campaigns run by fringe parties who claim that the Tories have failed the will of the people on Brexit may have interesting effects on the final result.  It can be definitely said though that all of the major contenders for the Prime Ministers office have been forced to adopt the social questions that, barring exceptions such as Margret Thatcher, have become a comfortable part of British life and society. 

3 years ago Britons went to the polls in an election dominated by the idea of Brexit and the future of the UK in Europe, there were many other aspects of society that were at play among the parties. Now three years later

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