PoliticsNo Third-Way: How the two-party system is broken

No Third-Way: How the two-party system is broken


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British politics is to put it simply a mess. Even for those of us who might pride ourselves on keeping up with the political agenda, it’s getting harder and harder to know all the details of the latest scandals as there have been so many.

From the Labour Party battling antisemitism claims, and now the recent ex-Conservative MP’s Islamophobic comments, the choices seem slim. Here’s an overview of those two issues and why it feels that people may be voting for ‘the best of a bad bunch’. 

Labour’s Antisemitism?

Leader of the opposition, Keir Starmer has spent the best part of late 2023 into the new year campaigning and stamping out concerns of anti-Jewish sentiment in the party’s ranks. Despite multiple public and concerted efforts to demonstrate change, Labour is still suffering from the allegations of antisemitism. Recordings of Azhar Ali, Labour’s candidate in the North West seat of Rochdale were released in which he made anti-Israel remarks. Labour ultimately removed his campaign support yet many felt that they didn’t move fast enough. Coupled with a U-turn on Labour’s green investment pledge, and tiptoeing around the war in Gaza, it is reasonable to ask what does Labour really stand for? Other than an opposition to the Conservatives. 

The Conservatives Islamophobia?

This leads us to consider the Tory party. Who are currently in political power, but arguably not in any comfort. Lee Anderson’s outburst of anti-Muslim rhetoric in regards to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Rishi Sunak struggled to condemn his comments and as of writing Lee Anderson still has not apologised. Anderson has since been stripped of the Tory whip, but one wonders the damage that could spiral from this unless a diversion tactic is employed. But the Conservatives have little else to distract voters’ attention, with waiting times crippling the NHS, and news headlines of economic recession, what is there for the Tory party to brag about?

By-elections indicate General Election victory?

While the discussion and allegations can rage on, many would ask does this translate into votes? Despite the issues, Labour has managed to flip not one, but two Tory seats to red. Labour overturned huge Tory majorities to win in Kingswood and Wellingborough in recent by-elections. Yet many commentators pointed to low turnout to question whether there was widespread support for Kerr Starmer’s Labour Party or a lack of enthusiasm for either option. 

When you look at the list of issues currently on the plate of our political parties it’s hardly inspiring options. The best of a bad bunch springs to mind, and arguably why Labour continues to poll ahead of the conservatives as a general election looms. We are seeing the same trend in the United States with many voters uninspired by either camp: Democrats or Republicans. In a two-horse race, you could be forgiven for assuming that there is a ‘good’ horse and a ‘bad’ horse. Simply put, we assume there will be a clear winner and loser. Yet in the western (English-speaking) world, our two-party systems, see political mayhem unfold. This leaves no choice to voters other than ‘what is the least worst option?

Cleo Anderson
Cleo Andersonhttp://www.cleoa.co.uk
Cleo Anderson is a freelance content specialist and journalist based between the Netherlands, UK and Jamaica. She has previously worked in national and international broadcast television news in the UK and Jamaica. She holds a bachelor's degree in European Stuides (French) from King's College London. Cleo is currently pursuing a master's in Media and Creative Industries at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

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