Could UK politics survive the launch of a centrist party
Rumours are running high at the possible launch of a new political party which caters to centrist leaning voters. Would this new party get the votes and who is involved?
The main man that seems behind this possible new party is Simon Franks, the millionaire who founded LoveFilm, but another name that has been linked with it is Tony Blair’s son Euan Blair who is supposedly on the board of this new organisation.
However despite this organisation working in apparent secrecy for over a year and rumoured to have raised funds of over £50 million, no official announcement has been made, and the country has been left to speculate for weeks since the rumours surfaced.
Simon Franks did found an organisation last August, two in fact: “Project One Movement UK Limited” and “Project One Movement For the UK LTD”, both exist on the Companies House website. On the UK Government’s official records of companies, both organisations list Franks as the only Director, and both list their nature as political.
But what impact could a party like this have?
The nature of UK politics has shifted a lot over the last few years, in short; Jeremy Corbyn taking the Labour party further left, the Conservatives fighting among themselves to be more right-leaning or stay in the centre, UKIP losing momentum following Brexit and the Liberal Democrats having a big fall in successive general elections, the politic seas are very stormy right now.
With all this choppy water, could a new party taking the centre ground do well? It’s entirely possible that this new party, fresh with ideas and not weighed down with the past tribalism that’s dragging the mainstream parties down, they could gain support and voters.
I ran a Facebook poll asking if people would join or vote for a “centralist” [sic] party. Over 70 per cent said no, although some commenting that it depended on how we define centre politics, and how the other parties react.
So it looks like a new party would have to prove themselves to potentially hesitant voters, with how how they define themselves being a big sticking point. Their success is also dependant on how the other parties react.
Labours Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell hit out against the idea, attacking the possible motives, the individuals and backers.
That’s a novel idea. A party of the rich, by the rIch, for the rich. A party for the few not the many. https://t.co/nZIvkbkdGj
— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) April 7, 2018
Labour MP Karen Lee proposed that the Labour party “is already offering a radical alternative”
The @UKLabour Party is already offering a radical alternative. A ‘centrist’ party wouldn’t ‘break the mould’ but defend elite interests against those of us fighting for a radically fairer society. https://t.co/Sp2CckyCzY
— Karen Lee (@KarenLeeMP) April 9, 2018
And even the polling agency YouGov jumped on board with the speculation that the former Labour MP David Miliband might return to politics to lead this new party, sharing polling data on who amongst voters has a favourable opinion of him.
Who likes David Miliband? With some commentators hoping he will return to the UK to lead a centrist party, we took a look at who it is that has a favourable opinion of the former foreign secretary https://t.co/Zjf67mAbSL pic.twitter.com/QLzDiATPtZ
— YouGov (@YouGov) April 9, 2018
With this new party not even officially launched, all anyone can do is continue to speculate and ponder how the political landscape may continue to change. Only time will tell if the tide might be going out for the mainstream parties, clearing the shores ahead for something new.