John Curtice says UK may face ‘interesting times’ in general election
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The Conservative Party lost nearly 500 seats at the local elections and Liberal Democrats ended up gaining over 220 new councillors across England, Wales, and Scotland. Polling expert John Curtice warned Tories and Labours of “very, very interesting times” ahead, particularly in the wake of the next general elections. Despite the Scottish National Party being the third-largest party at the moment, Mr Curtice warned election results show Lib Dems are now regaining “their old role as the principal party of protest”.
Mr Curtice told GB News: “The chances of a hung parliament after the last election are pretty high.
“And of course, what we also have to bear in mind is that there aren’t any parties in the House of Commons at present, who will be willing to help to sustain a minority conservative administration.
“So, in the event of a hung parliament, it is going to be much easier to secure the former administration, than it will be for Boris Johnson.
“But, that said, there is potentially a very substantial price and difficult shows for Labour to negotiate in those situations.
“Liberal Democrats, if they can take Labour over the lie, will want to work to progress towards proportional administration.
“That’s a pretty fundamental change to our constitution.
“But of course, the third-largest party at the moment and perhaps still will be after the next election is the Scottish National Party.
“And their price will be some kind of referendum on Scotland’s constitutional status in which independence is an option.
“And that, of course, also has important implications for the future of British politics.
Mr Curtice concluded: “So there is no doubt that if Labour can’t win an overall majority and the Conservatives cannot gain their popularity, we may be in for very, very interesting times in the wake of the next general election.”
In light of Liberal Democrats’ performance at the local elections, Mr Curtice also added: “The local election performance by Liberal Democrats was the best one that they have achieved since 2010.
“Apart from the local elections of 2019, which took place in the midst of Theresa May and her attempt to grip to get her party to agree to the deal with the European Union that she’d negotiated over Brexit on the Liberal Democrats for attracting voters because of their promise of a second referendum.
“They don’t have those circumstances now but even so they did succeed in making a couple of points advance last year.
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“Two particularly interesting features of it that might perhaps worry Conservative MPs.
“One is the Liberal Democrat vote was rising just as much in pro-leavers as it was in pro-retainers despite the party’s past association with the remaining cause.
“And secondly, the Liberal Democrat vote arose above all in wards when they were staring off in second place to the Conservatives, particularly in the southern half of England, particularly in the rural constituencies, in other words very, very much prime Tory territory.
“So I think certainly what the Liberal Democrats may now be on the cusp of achieving is basically regaining their old role as the principal party of protest”.
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