Prof. Dr. Melanie Sully

Aftermath of the UK Election

 

"Britische Politik in der Vertrauenskrise" by Helmut L Müller interview with Melanie Sully in the Salzburger Nachrichten 7.5. 2015 looked at the backlash against the "London elite", the need for modernisation in parliament and to bring politics closer to the people. Sully notes that the disillusionment with Labour has deeper roots and can be traced back to the Iraq war during the Blair period. Dr Sully further commented on the decentralisation plans for a major constitutional restructuring of the United Kingdom. After the election Labour had not only lost in Scotland but also in England making it in effect a "London" party. It finds itself now in a dilemma Dr Sully told Austrian radio not only a leadership change is necessary but a new positioning in the political spectrum, but where should it go? The progressive left seems to have been captured by the Scottish Nationalists and the Right is well occupied by Tories and UKIP. The power struggle in the Labour party could last but they have time in Opposition to lick their wounds. A major concern of the Austrian media was the theme of Brexit or the referendum on in/out of the EU. With Camerons victory this now looks set for 2017 and is a cause for concern for many in the EU. Cameron wants changes though said Dr Sully in interviews, that are not so radical and appeared in some of the other parties manifestos on stronger national parliaments, reform of the EU budget and Common Agricultural Policy and EU migrants. Another major topic in the interviews which bewildered the press and television was the flop of the opinion pollsters to get it anywhere near right. How could a neck and neck election predicting all kind of scenarios for a parliament where no party would have an outright majority turn into a Conservative win. This topic will now be investigated by an independent commission Sully told late night television. Pollsters claimed they had learnt from the disaster of 1992 when something similar happened and that they now compensate for the Tories who shy away from telling pollsters how they will vote. Still to be of any use some changes will have to be made. Even before the referendum on Scottish independence, a close result was predicted. This is a problematic point since arguably polls could influence the way people vote and make politics instead of reporting on it. Banning the polls just before an election is not considered a solution since it contravenes acts on freedom of opinion and polls would appear on social media or in other countries. But with a referendum looming on a big issue like Exit it can only be hoped that they will refine their methods pretty soon.
Dr Melanie Sully melanie.sully@go-governance.com