So let’s have a look at the other main players in this election! If you haven’t seen the first part of this article click here! https://gyoumagazine.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/who-should-you-vote-for-a-quick-guide-to-the-2017-snap-election-part-12/
Scottish Nationalist Party (aka SNP)
Brexit: They have been pushing against May arguing that the Brexit result in Scottish constituencies should be respected, and so, Scotland should be given special allowances to remain in the single market, even if the rest of the UK leaves it. Upon the likely event that May does not allow this, they have clauses in their manifesto that state they will then seek a Second independence referendum, so that Scotland may “have a say on it’s future.” Indeed, such a call came in March as they pushed for Indy Ref 2, but were initially blocked by Westminster, and then the issue was put on the back burner following the General Election announcement.
Scottish Independence: Well, yes… The SNP is pro independence…
Social, Economy and Spending: They want an increase to minimum wage, and put an end to austerity as well as calling for a firm plan on how to secure Scottish jobs post brexit, as they estimate there could be as many as 80,000 jobs lost. They massively oppose the privatization of the NHS, and want more funding to be pumped into it. Although they do currently have 54 seats in Westminster, they are much more focused on Scotland rather than the UK as a whole.
Summary: Social democratic nationalists. pro-independence, pro-EU, and anti-austerity.
Financial Times Polling: 4% (-1% since the referendum)
Liberal Democrats (aka Lib Dems)
Tim Farron’s party made it big in the 2010 General Election, forcing a coalition government with the Tories, but ultimately due to you-turns on many policies (including tuition fees) they lost the majority of their seats come 2015. Some are hailing this snap election as the time of the resurgent Lib Dems, as people fall out of love with both Tories and Labour. The local elections did not, however, back this stance.
Brexit: They are Pro-Europe, and have vowed to stop “Hard-Brexit” by at least keeping the UK in the single market, while also pushing for a public vote on any final Brexit deal.
Scottish Independence: They are anti Independence but want to see a “Strong Scotland, with control of its own affairs as part of a federal United Kingdom”
Social, Economy and Spending: They champion the crack down on multinational companies avoiding tax, and their stance on income tax is that they will produce a tax that is fair to all, maintaining those earning below minimum wage will be exempt. However, their main agenda which is around free-trade, hinges purely on Brexit. They are for an increase on health spending, pledging to put mental and physical health treatment on equal footings. They want a more action on environmental issues, and pledge to reduce vehicular emissions.
Summary: In a sort of middle ground between all the parties, they are pro-EU, pro-free-trade, and for a fair taxation system.
Financial Times Polling: 10% (+3% since the referendum)
United Kingdom Independence Party (aka UKIP)
UKIP currently have zero seats in the house of commons, and so many call for them to be “No Platformed” and I have to agree, the only reason I am mentioning them is because currently they are polling higher nationally than the Greens, and believe since they tend to lean into populism, speaking for the “common person” masking their ethnocentric anti-multiculturalist views, something should be said against them. So before you see them on television larking on about a “clean brexit” and “strong British identity” I want you to know where they stand on a few issues that aren’t given away in their name. They are party often linked with the alt-right, a group who disavow the conservative right and strut their own path for “common folk” but often this manifests itself through white supremacists, and homophobic stances, which is why I hate the term “alt-right” as it seems to credit it as being an actual alternative path, instead I see them as the racist right.
Social, Economy and Spending:
LGBTQ+, Feminism and Race Relations: In the 2015 General Election, the UKIP manifesto made no mention of LGTBQ+ issues what so ever, and above that the ex leader, Nigel Farage, set the tone for the parties stance on LGBTQ+ and Feminism, by stating we should “Scrap most equality and discrimination legislation…” to allow common sense to prevail, along with their former Whip who said Feminism is “Shrill, bored, middle-class women of a certain physical genre,” and another made such crude comments linking homosexuality and pedophilia that I dare not repeat them. Another hopeful councelor stated “islam is a cancer that needs eradicating multiculturism does not work in this country.”
Summary: I could fill this entire article with quotes from UKIP officials that show their true racist, sexist, Xeno- Trans- Homo-phobic, right wing, fascist colours, but instead I leave you with this, there are buzz-quizzes online which have you guess “UKIP or Fascist: who said it…” and they aren’t easy…
Financial Times Polling: 6% (-9% since the referendum)
Green Party UK (aka Greens)
Brexit: Much like the Lib Dems, they are for staying in the single market via “Soft brexit,” but also articulate the fact they support the free movement of workers. They want another public vote on a final Brexit deal.
Scottish Independence: The Scottish Greens are pro-independence saying the Scots vote, and are ignored by the Tory controlled Westminster, that a Scottish referendum is a chance to build a progressive, internationalist independent Scotland.
Social, Economy and Spending: The party wants to create a “Robin Hood tax” on banks and levy higher taxes on the wealthiest one-percent. They are anti-austerity and want to halt the privatization of the NHS and increase spending on health, and education, scrapping tuition fees, along with their pledge to return railways into public control. Needless to say their environmental stance is at the heart of all they do.
Summary: They are pro-taxation, anti-austerity, and pro-independence, but unfortunately are probably the minority party hurt the greatest by the UKs two party system style of government, where power flicks between two main bodies (Labour and Tory)
Financial Times Polling: 3% (-2% since the referendum)
Brexit: They are strongly against Brexit, and are not even too happy with the idea of a “Soft Brexit.” They want a guarantee to EU workers in Wales, that they may stay, as well as assurance that Welsh Jobs will be protected.
Scottish Independence: They are not particularly fond of the idea of being left alone with England and Northern Ireland and herald it as “an end to the UK,” but they admit that a referendum shouldn’t be blocked by Westminster.
Social, Economy and Spending: They want a raise in the minimum wage and an end to austerity measures. They want the £5 Billion budget for Westminster Palace renovations, to be blocked, and poured into public infrastructure. It is Pro-NHS funding, and wants the Government to seek more spending on renewable energy.
Summary: Unsure on Scottish independence, anti-austerity, and pro-EU.
Northern Irish Political Parties
So though I still do not intend to include any major paragraphs on each party, I will give an ever so brief oversight.
The only parties to run in Northern Ireland whom also run in the rest of the U.K. are the Tories, Greens and U.K.I.P there are five other main parties which regularly are seen winning seats in Westminster.
First some buzz words:
Nationalist means they support a United Ireland.
Unionist means they support NI (and in some cases The Republic of Ireland) being part of the UK
Democratic Unionist Party
Lead by Arlene Foster, they are a right leaning unionist (the name gives it away) conservative party. They regularly are against equality of marriage acts, often having used their “petition of concern” to block legislation in Stormont (the N.I. legislative assembly). They are non-pro-choice and in fact have pushed for stricter policing on women who travel to and from England for such medical treatment. Their economic plans are rather “copy and pasted” from Westminster, recently having got them in a lot of heat over the R.H.I scandle, where instead of rewriting legislation for the promotion of farmers using renewables, they took it straight from Westminster forgetting to put in any safe guards key for NI. This has lead to a deficit of £650 million. They currently are refusing to go into power sharing (as is required by the Good Friday agreement) with Sinn Féin.
New leader Michelle O’Neill steps into the boots of Martin McGuinness, who resigned (breaking down the power sharing agreement) and then passed away in March of this year. They are, to many peoples disbelief, left winged, Nationalists, who would ultimately like to see the unification of Ireland. They oppose Westminster’s jurisdiction in Northern Ireland, the monarchy as a state head. They have never held a majority of seats at Stormont, and when they win seats at Westminster they abstain from any institution they see as non-legitimate, but they do attend meetings and stand for their constituents in other ways.
Ulster Unionist Party
Centre right…. unionists… they were for a long time joined with the Tories at the hip, till the conservatives decided to cut the cord. In the First assembly in NI (1998) the UUP where the majority unionist party. Although they are divorced now their stances are rather similar to the Tories, but with some Norn’ Iron’ rhetoric thrown in for good measure
Social Democratic Labour Party
A sister party to Labour, they are Centre left, nationalists. They were the largest nationalist party in the ’98 assembly. Their stances are very similar to that of Labour and LibDems
They sometimes grasp a seat in Westminster, but recently lost it in 2015 to the UUP. They are Centralists, and very similar to the Liberal Democrats in many ways, what is unique with Alliance is they are not Nationalist or Unionist, they remain as “other” on the ballot, standing for “the best of the people”
Remember, come election day make sure your voice is heard, no mater where on the economic or social slider-scale you lie on, stand and be counted.