General elections in the UK: Will it be the end of Toryism?

The polls suggest a victory of the Labour Party in the general elections. And yet, the conservative approach taken under Keir Starmer and the purge of Corbyn supporters illustrate a continuity with the current regime rather than a drastic change.


Juanjo Andres Cuervo


The general elections of the 4th of July are less exciting than previous ones. An uncontestably victory of the Labour Party seems almost inevitable. Not so long ago, the political landscape was very different.

The 2017 general elections witnessed a great result with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party achieving 40% of the vote, within 3% of the Conservative Party. At that time, it seemed that, in the following elections, the Tories could lose government.

In the event, it did not happen. The Labour Party was crushed in the elections of 2019 and Jeremy Corbyn resigned. Since that moment, many things have changed in the political landscape of the United Kingdom.

The global and national crisis

First, came Covid-19, the pandemic that shattered the world, affecting especially the most vulnerable communities. It had catastrophic consequences on human, social, economic, and political levels.

In the United Kingdom, over 200,000 people lost their lives due to the pandemic. In March 2022, one in three UK adults reported that their mental health had deteriorated because of the pandemic.

Then, the Brexit process was over, an event that has changed the UK in the most dramatic ways. Nowadays, all the political spectrum, from The New Statesman to even Nigel Farage, have agreed that Brexit was a failure. Among the population, a majority of Britons share this view.

At a global level, the war in Ukraine and the Israeli genocide in Gaza are having a huge influence. The morality of the elites, always in doubt, is being tested as the leaders of the West are supporting Israel.

Even though Joe Biden or Emmanuel Macron have slightly shifted their belligerent approach, their continuous support to destroy the Palestinian people is provoking a huge turmoil all over the world. Anti-war protests and efforts of solidarity are aiming to end the genocide.

All these issues have profoundly affected the state of world affairs. In the case of the United Kingdom, the shrinking of the economy is due in part to the geopolitical context, but also, due to more than a decade of cuts implemented by the Conservative Party.

Is the Labour Party the only alternative?

Hence, the question for progressive people is: can a Labour Party led by Keir Starmer make a drastic change to help the most vulnerable communities to improve their living standard? Sadly, it seems unlikely.

From 2015 to 2019, the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and his program to raise taxes to the rich, re-distribute wealth, invest in infrastructure, or improve public services offer a real alternative to the neoliberal hegemony. Nowadays, the programme offered by Keir Starmer seems a continuity from the Tories rather than a change. In fact, voting for the Green Party, or independent candidates in some constituencies, like Jeremy Corbyn in Islington North, are the most coherent responses for people who crave for a change on the system.

Unfortunately, the First-past-the-post electoral system in the UK makes it harder for small parties to gain seats in Parliament. As in the USA, the system was built to maintain the status quo, only allowing the two main parties to win elections.

Despite that, people in the UK desire a drastic change in the current situation. Rising prices, the decrease in the living standard of the majority, the distrust of politicians, the accumulation of wealth in fewer hands, and the cutting of essential services like the NHS and education have awoken the masses.

Among Labour members, most of them want Jeremy Corbyn back in the party. The long-lived activist, who opposed Apartheid in South Africa and in Palestine, who has always supported different communities and has been vocal against imperialism, epitomises well the need for a radical change. People in the UK will vote in an uncertain and dangerous national and global situation. And yet, they have the key to either maintain the neoliberal hegemony with the Tories or the Labour Party, or choose an alternative that will benefit the majority. They will speak on the 4th of July.

(Photos: Pixabay)


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