John Halewood-Dodd column

John Halewood Dodd.
John Halewood Dodd.

One of the main events of this coming year will undoubtedly be the general election, and in this first week of the year politicians have set about arguing on what they feel are likely to be the main issues to excite the electorate.

I’m not sure that anything will really excite the majority as there is a great deal of apathy among many potential voters.

However, the political analysts assure us that we are entering one of the most interesting eras of British politics for decades.

The emergence of UKIP and the resurgence of the SNP in Scotland has meant that the mainstream parties are going to lose not insignificant numbers of votes to what were once seen as peripheral parties.

To this extent, the political landscape of this country is likely to change in a way that we have not seen for over a century.

As someone who studied politics at higher education level for three years, before transferring to a law degree, I must confess that I do find these developments extremely interesting. My prediction is that once again we will be left with a hung parliament.

Both Labour and Conservative are suggesting that they can win an overall majority, but I feel that this is little more than political gerrymandering.

I’m going to stick my neck out even further and predict that Labour will win the most seats and that they will be looking to form a coalition with the SNP, and possibly Plaid Cymru also.

If it is close between Labour and the Conservatives I envisage the Tories trying to court UKIP, and even the DUP in Northern Ireland, to enable them to establish a majority in the House of Commons.

Regardless of how it pans out over the coming months there is one thing that I am absolutely certain of, and that is that we will have the same old mudslinging politics that we have become accustomed to.

In my view, this is what turns the majority away from politics to the extent that many, especially younger people, now abstain from voting.

It may well be that the coalitions I’m predicting allow us to move away from this but only time will tell.