Monday marks the third anniversary of the general election that delivered the largest Conservative parliamentary majority since Margaret Thatcher’s. Labour, meanwhile, dropped to its worst result since the 1930s. Governments are thrown out when voters want a fresh start. What was unusual in 2019 was that voters gave the Tories the task of reversing Tory policies. That perhaps explains why Rishi Sunak heads a government that resembles an opposition in office, pitting itself against actions of its predecessors.
This paradox highlights how close the two-party political system is to breaking point. People who voted Conservative at the last election know they have been had. Instead of getting a government that will fix the economy and the NHS, these voters have found themselves with ministers who are wrecking them. This has led to a widespread feeling of cynicism. Polling for the Compass thinktank shows that even if Labour replaces the Conservatives at the next election, the majority of voters think the political system is incapable of meeting the big challenges of our time – such as climate, wealth inequality and housing.
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