As I sat down to watch the 2019 General Election debate, I was full of optimism. This would be the moment where I could escape the hustle, bustle and bewilderment of the campaign thus far and come out with a clear head, a smile spread across my face, knowing the name that would have a cross next to it on my ballot paper. I got up from the sofa an hour later and not one of these hopes had been fulfilled. I sat back down head spinning, despairing at the state of our politics and without the foggiest idea who to vote for. So, I started to run through my options.
First to come under my scrutiny was the ruling party, the Conservatives. Surely they’re a safe pair of hands. They’ve been in power for the last nine years and the country hasn’t totally fallen to pieces – right? Then I remembered what’s changed – their leader. If there’s one thing that Boris Johnson cannot be described as, it is ‘a safe pair of hands’.
So with that, onto the next: the Labour Party. This seems to be the party that constantly crops up as the ‘party of students’. I’m a student; this is looking hopeful. A brief look at their policies and I am feeling increasingly at ease. It seems to be that their manifesto is basically lots of free stuff for me; what could be the problem with this? Ah, in a year or so I’ll be earning and paying the taxes to cover all this free stuff, which suddenly doesn’t seem so free. Their policy on Brexit seems a bit odd too: renegotiation and referendum – haven’t these been tried before?
If there is one thing that Boris Johnson cannot be described as is ‘a safe pair of hands’
Perhaps the Lib Dems can bring my election anxiety to a close? Their social policy seems suitably eponymously liberal and their economics seem reasonable too. Not sure about their Brexit policy though. It doesn’t strike me as either liberal or democratic to just call the whole thing off and say ‘sorry folks, I’m afraid you got it wrong’. Also, not too keen on the whole cult of Swinson thing either.
So, with the big three having fallen by the wayside, who am I left with? The Greens maybe? They seem pretty on top of this climate business and only have a single MP to back this sort of stuff in the House of Commons. Surely it would be a good idea to give the cause a bit more representation in Parliament? I wondered why it hadn’t happened already. Oh of course – our electoral system. Unless you live in Brighton, the Green Party do not have a shot at getting a seat. Not wanting to waste my vote and unintentionally give the seat to a party I really don’t want, I moved on.
Ah, of course, the Brexit Party. Can Nige save me in my hour of need? What a stupid thought – of course he can’t. The only reason anyone would vote for them is for their Brexit policy, a policy that has been co-adopted to such a great extent by the Tories that the Brexit Party can’t face the humiliation of standing against them. They aren’t even standing in enough seats to have even the remotest possibility of winning a majority. If I wanted the policy that comprises their existence, I’d vote Conservative.
Unless you live in Brighton, the Green Party do not have a shot at getting a seat
UKIP? – haha no. SNP? – I don’t live in Scotland. Ditto for Plaid Cymru, the DUP, the UUP, the SDLP, Sinn Fein and the Yorkshire Party. Change UK (or the Independent Group, or whatever they’re called now) seem to only be standing in three seats, none of which are mine.
I seem to have run out of options here. I’m not sure I can cast a positive vote for any of the parties in the 2019 General Election. It will be a case of choosing the least bad one. With that cheery thought, I shall end these ponderings – I don’t think they can be called helpful in anyway, but there we are…