Post by Pete Whitehead on May 20, 2013 9:32:15 GMT
I don't think I would count the BNP anymore as one of the six main parties. Certainly not once Griffin loses his European parliament seat next year as they will hold virtually no elected offices then. Not that there is any other party that can claim the status, so I would say there are now five main parties (but Respect probably has a greater claim now and even TUSC tends to have more candidates and win more votes these days)
Post by Pete Whitehead on May 20, 2013 10:54:38 GMT
I haven't lookd in a lot of detail but the BNP got comedy votes in the two seats in Herts where they stood this year including one where they'd won in 2009. TUSC got fairly pathetic votes where they stood, but not quite as low. English Democrats for that matter did better
The last time a general election was won by someone who was, shall we say, rather balding over someone who was not was in 1900 when Lord Salisbury won a majority.
Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee won three elections between them - but only against each other.
When a bald person has come up against someone who is not, they lose (1935, 1955, 1964, 1987, 1992, 2001, 2005).
France have not got such a problem - since 1959, every President except one (Sarkozy) has been thin on top.
When the exit poll for the 1981 presidential election was declared, an image of Mitterand, as the winner, was gradually revealed on screen. It started with the top of his head and it wasn't until it got down to his eyes that the presenter of the programme could be sure it wasn't Valery Giscard D'Estaing (0:39 onwards on this video):
How do we define major party? I would suggest that if a party has a vote which exceeds all combined Independents, then it is a major.
Someone probably has the spread sheets to hand. My guess is that the UK majors are C, L, LD, UKIP, SNP. No others. PC, DUP and SF qualify locally.
I would define "main party" as having a significant proportion of the votes or seats in a significant number or range of elections. The BNP qualifies as "main" because it got 6% of the votes in the European Parliament election, and got 2 seats, as well as dozens of councillors. Next time, those three qualifications will probably all be gone, and so it won't be a main party any more.
Labour governments are always voted in by empty minds, and voted out by empty pockets